Maine's Marksmanship Too Much for Men's Basketball

Orono, Maine- Playing for the third time in six days, UMBC men's basketball team fell to a rested Maine squad, 89-70, at Alfond Arena in an America East Conference contest.

UMBC sophomore forward Chase Plummer (Plainfield, N.J.) scored a team-high 17 points and was The Retrievers' America East Player of the Game. Junior guard Ryan Cook (Laurel, Md./Pallotti) added 15 points and freshman forward Chandler Thomas (Indianapolis, Ind.) scored 14 points in 13 minutes off the bench.

Maine senior guard Gerald McLemore led all scorers with 29 points. The Black Bears hit nearly 51 percent (27-of-53) from the floor, including 8-of-18 from behind the arc, and made 27 of 29 free throw attempts.   

The Retrievers (2-13, 1-2 America East) started the week on the road and won at New Hampshire, 82-76 on Monday night. They returned home and fell to Albany, 89-72, on Thursday evening and boarded a plane 12 hours later for the trip to Maine for today's matinee.

Maine (8-5, 2-0), which won for the fifth time in their last six outings, won its league opener on Binghamton, 76-61, on Monday.

UMBC had won four straight times at Alfond Arena.

Neither team led by more than four points in the first 10 minutes and Cook hit a pair of free throws to whittle UMBC's deficit to 22-21 with 10:05 to play. But the Black Bears scored nine points on their next three possessions and produced five three-point plays in a 19-2 run, giving the hosts a 41-23 lead with 4:47 to play in the half.

UMBC whittled the deficit to 11 points at 41-30 and trailed 43-30 at intermission.

Junior guard Brian Neller (Red Bank, N.J.) opened a 7-0 UMBC surge with a 3-point field goal, and the Retrievers were still within 11 points at 52-41 six minutes into the second half. But Maine countered with a 13-1 run to take a prohibitive 66-42 advantage with 10:39 to play.

UMBC shot 42.1 percent from the floor, converting on 24 of 57 attempts. They outrebounded the Black Bears, 34-31, but the Retrievers' 17 turnovers cost them 25 Maine points on the other end.

Maine sophomore forward Alasdair Fraser scored 14 of his 16 points in the first half and garnered a game-high 11 rebounds.

Plummer scored 15 first half points and played only 10 second half minutes after taking a hard fall early in the half. Thomas scored all 14 of his points in eight second-half minutes of action.

The Retrievers return to action on Wed., Jan. 11 when they host Stony Brook.