Baltimore—UMBC junior guard Chris De La Rosa (Washington Heights, N.Y.) posted his second career double-double with 30 points and 11 rebounds, but the Retrievers fell to Central Connecticut State, 82-74, at the RAC Arena.
The scoring and rebounding figures for De La Rosa are both career highs. He has amassed 55 points in two meetings with the Blue Devils.
Spurred by the brilliant play by freshman forward Chase Plummer(Elizabeth, N.J.) UMBC built an 11-point lead midway through the first half. Plummer entered the game just 1:37 into the proceedings and 12 of UMBC's first 22 points by the 11-minute mark of the half. When freshman Jamar Wertz (Suffolk, Va.) buried a long trey, the Retrievers had built a 28-17 advantage at the exact mid-point of the stanza.
But Central would then outscore UMBC, 22-2, and amassed 32 points over the final 9:38 of the half to take command, 48-29, at intermission.
UMBC would tighten the defense in the second half and whittled the lead to three points on a De La Rosa driving layup at 55-52 with 11:25 remaining.
But Central built the lead back to nine points when UMBC made a last effort, as Wertz hit a trey and De La Rosa hit a driving layup to cut the deficit to 75-71 with 2:50 to play. But Blue Devil guard Shemik Thompson raced the length of the court for a layup of his own seven seconds later and UMBC never got the ball in a two-possession game the rest of the way.
De La Rosa hit 10 of 24 shots from the floor, 2-of-3 from behind the arc and 8-of-11 from the charity stripe. His 11 rebounds topped his previous career-best by four in 39 minutes of action.
Plummer finished with 14 points and became the first freshman in 25 years of UMBC Division I basketball to score in double figures in his first three contests.
Travis King (New Haven, Conn.) also scored in double figures for the third consecutive game with 11 points.
Junior wing Ken Horton led four Blue Devils in double figures with 24 points and he tied De La Rosa for rebounding honors with 11.
Central became the second straight team to shoot better than 50 percent from the field vs. UMBC, as they hit 31 of 61 (50.8 percent).
UMBC returns to action on Tuesday, Nov. 23 when they travel to meet Coppin State.