Men's Basketball Can't Dig Out of First Half Hole, Fall to Vermont, 67-55

BALTMORE- UMBC dug itself a deep first-half hole and could not climb all the way out, falling to visiting Vermont, 67-55, at the RAC Arena.

Sophomore reserve  guard Joey Getz (Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Wood) and senior wing Brian Neller (Red Bank, N.J./Christian Bros. Acad.) led UMBC with 12 points each. Senior guard Ryan Cook (Laurel, Md./Palotti) scored all ten of his points in the second half.

Vermont (9-2 America East, 16-7) junior forward Clancy Rugg, UVM's America East Player of the Game,  led all scorers with 18 points and added 10 rebounds.  Junior forward Brian Voelkel added 16 rebounds and the duo combined to outrebound the smaller Retrievers. Vermont won the battle of the boards, 42-24, although points in the paint were even at 20-all and UMBC outscored the Catamounts, 10-9, on second chance points.

Relying solely on a perimeter game, UMBC (4-7 AE, 6-18) misfired on 10 of its first 12 shots and fell behind, 13-4, nine minutes into the game. Vermont built the lead to 32-13 with 2:21 to play before Neller hit back-to-back treys on UMBC's next two possessions.

The Catamounts took a 34-19 advantage to the locker room. They were never able to completely break away, building three leads of 17 points. UMBC would cut the deficit to ten points on two occasions, at 50-40 with 9:16 to play and to 58-48 with 5:15 remaining, but the Catamounts answered both times.

The Retrievers' final surge occurred when Getz hit a trey with 2:17 remaining and fed junior forward Chase Plummer (Plainfield, N.J./St. Patrick) for a  layup with 1:35 to play and the hosts were within eight points at 63-55. Already in the double bonus, the Catamounts used the entire shot clock down the stretch and time ran out on the Retrievers.

Getz, UMBC's America East Player of the Game, hit 4-of-6 shots from the floor, and 2-of-3 from the line and behind the arc. He added six rebounds and three assists.

 Vermont has now won seven of its last eight contests.

UMBC was whistled for 24 fouls, sending Vermont to the line 33 times. The Catamounts were 23-of-33 from the stripe, while the hosts were 8-of-11.  UMBC converted one more field goal and one more trey than did the visitors.

UMBC takes to the road for two straight, first traveling to New Hampshire for a Wednesday evening contest.