Ryan Cook Scores 26 Points, But Niagara Long-Distance Assault Outlasts Men's Basketball

Brian Neller hit four treys and moved into 7th place on UMBC's all-time list.
Brian Neller hit four treys and moved into 7th place on UMBC's all-time list.

Niagara University, N.Y.- UMBC junior guard Ryan Cook (Laurel, Md./Pallotti) scored a season-high 26 points, but the host Niagara Purple Eagles (5-8) buried 13 of 27 3-point field attempts en route to a 92-75 victory.

Junior guard Brian Neller (Red Bank, N.J.) hit four treys en route to a 16-point performance and moved into seventh place on UMBC's all-time list with 125.

Trailing 33-24 with 8:35 remaining in the first half, UMBC went on a 14-2 run and took a brief 38-35 lead after consecutive lay-ups by freshman wing Chandler Thomas (Indianapolis, Ind.). But the Purple Eagles countered with a 17-4 surge in the final 5:12 of the stanza and took a ten point halftime lead.

The Retrievers put a season-high 42 points on the board in the first half, hitting 15 of 25 shots (60 percent) from the floor and five of nine from behind the arc. But UMBC also gave up a season-high 52 points, as the visitors hit 18 of 35 shots, including 8 of 15 from long range.

UMBC (1-11) was within 11 points at 59-48 with 16:25 to play, but Niagara surged to an 81-55 advantage after outscoring the Retrievers, 22-7 over the next eight minutes.

Guard Marvin Jordan led Niagara with 23 points, hitting six of 11 shots from behind the arc.

Thomas was also in double figures for UMBC with 10 points.

Despite tailing off in the second half, the Retrievers' shooting numbers were good-UMBC hit 24 of 50 shots (48 percent) from the floor, 8-of-19 (42.1 percent) from behind the arc and 19 of 23 from the stripe.

But Niagara scored 28 points off 17 Retriever turnovers and outscored the Retrievers, 30-18, in the paint. UMBC garnered a season-low six offensive rebounds.  

The Retrievers open America East play at New Hampshire on Monday.