BALTIMORE—High-powered VMI (2-0) hit eight of 14 shots behind the arc in the second half to push past UMBC, 94-77, in the season opening for the Retrievers.
Five Retrievers scored in double figures, three of whom were making their UMBC debuts and the other, forward Justin Fry (New Bloomfield, Pa./West Perry) , who missed the 2009-10 season after knee surgery.
Fry posted his fourth career double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds, hitting six of nine shots from the floor. Newcomer Laurence Jolicoeur (Queens, N.Y./Holy Cross/Manhattan) recorded his first career double-double with a team-high 16 points and 10 rebounds, while new addition Travis King (New Haven, Conn./New Hyde Leadership/Geo. Washington) posted 12 points in his Retriever debut.
All three are competing as graduate students for UMBC.
VMI was paced by junior guard Keith Gabriel, who scored 30 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the floor and 5-of-10 from behind the arc. Sophomore wing Stan Okoye added 21 points and a game high 14 rebounds, hitting 9-of-12 from the field.
The Keydets have led the nation in scoring in each of the past four seasons, an NCAA Division I record.
There were seven ties and eight lead changes in the first half and neither team led by more than four points as VMI went into halftime ahead, 38-35.
Fry converted on a traditional three-point play to give the Retrievers their final lead at 45-43 with 15:54 remaining. But Okoye matched Fry's three-point play with a driving bucket and free throw of his own to spur the visitors on a 17-6 run and take control with a 60-51 advantage with 10:27 to play.
Jolicoeur hit a trey with 7:50 remaining to make it a two-possession game at 64-58. But VMI would score on 12 of their final 14 possessions of the contest, including converting on five of their final six treys, to pull away down the stretch.
VMI hit 63.3 percent from the field (19-of-30) in the second half and finished the game at 48.5 percent (32-of-66). The Keydets hit 14 of 32 attempts from behind the arc in the contest. UMBC converted at a 41.8 percent clip (28-of-67) and struggled (6-of-24) from behind the arc.
UMBC junior guard Chris De La Rosa (Washington Heights, N.Y./All Hallows/Siena) led all players with nine assists.
UMBC plays at Loyola (Md.) on Wednesday.