Burlington, VT - The UMBC men's basketball team concluded the 2011-2012 regular season with a 80-49 loss to Vermont at Patrick Gym Saturday.
Junior guard Brian Neller (Red Bank, N.J./Christian Bros. Academy) made five 3-pointers to finish the game with a team-high 15 points while fellow junior Ryan Cook (Laurel, Md./Pallotti) finished with 12 points, nine of which came in the first half.
UMBC shot well at the start of the game, jumping out to 14-10 lead with just under five minutes having run off the clock. Vermont took the lead a few minutes later after going on a 10-2 run but a 3-pointer by Cook cut the deficit to just one at 20-19 with 11:27 remaining in the stanza. However, the Retrievers failed to score another point for nearly the next six minutes. Chase Plummer (Plainview, N.J./St. Patrick) ended UMBC's 5:52 scoring drought with a free throw, which also ended Vermont 13-point run, making it a 33-20 game with 5:35 remaining in the first half.
The Retrievers were able to end the first half on a 7-3 run, sending them into the break trailing by only nine points, 36-27. Neller hit three treys in the first half.
Vermont (20-11, 13-3 America East) scored the first seven points of the second half to take a 43-27 lead. UMBC responded with four quick points but 10 consecutive made free throws by the Catamounts helped extended their lead to 24, 68-44. They did this while UMBC suffered through another scoring drought, not scoring for nearly four minutes between layups from Chandler Thomas (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral), who ended the game with six points.
Plummer finished the game with eight points and a team-high six rebounds, but his streak of scoring in double figures was halted at 11.
Vermont senior Matt Glass led the Catamounts with 18 points.
UMBC (4-25, 3-13 AE) shot just 33.9 percent for the game, hitting 20-of-59 shots from the floor. They converted only three free throws in six attempts, while Vermont made 22 in 30 chances. The Catamounts outrebounded UMBC, 49-26.
The eighth-seeded Retrievers face No. 9 Binghamton in the first round of the America East Tournament in West Hartford, Conn. on Thurs., March 2.