Men's Basketball Completes Miraculous Rally; Comes Back From 23 Down in Second Half to Defeat Mount St. Mary's, 90-84 in Overtime

Devarick Houston posted his first career double-double with 11 pts/14 rebounds
Devarick Houston posted his first career double-double with 11 pts/14 rebounds

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BALTIMORE- UMBC freshman guard Rodney Elliott (Baltimore, Md./John Carroll) scored 24 of his 26 points after halftime, as the Retrievers wiped out a school-record 23-point deficit and rallied to defeat visiting Mount St. Mary's, 90-84, in overtime at the RAC Arena.

UMBC (2-2) played in overtime for the third consecutive contest, also a school first.  Mount St. Mary's, which played its fourth consecutive road contest, fell to 0-4 on the season.

Mountaineer senior guard Julian Norfleet led all scorers with 28 points.

UMBC trailed, 61-38, with 14:19 remaining and did cut into the Mount lead, , but seemed out of it after two free throws by Norfleet restored the visitor margin to 11 points at 72-61 with 3:29 remaining. But a trey by Elliott and two subsequent steals and scores by UMBC sliced the deficit to 72-68 with 1:14 to play.  

Norfleet hit a pair of free throws with 51 seconds remaining  to restore the advantage to six points, but UMBC senior forward Chase Plummer (Plainfield, N.J./St. Patrick) hit a top-of-the-key trey to get the hosts back to a one-possession game with 38 seconds left.  The Mount's Khalid Nwandu hit a free throw on the other end, but Elliott quickly drove and scored to cut the gap to 75-73 with 28 seconds to play.

Nwandu would lose the ball out of bounds after a UMBC trap on the inbounds play, and after a time out, junior guard Joey Getz (Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Wood) hit a runner from the right wing to tie the game at 75-all with 11 seconds left in regulation.

Mount guard Will Miller missed a long three-point attempt just before the final horn of regulation.

The Retrievers took the lead for good in overtime on a Plummer trey with 2:29 to play, and after a steal by Elliott and feed to classmate Charles Taylor, Jr. (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook) for a thunderous dunk, UMBC led, 84-79, with 14 seconds later.

The Mount would not get possession with a chance to tie or take the lead down the stretch.

"The basketball gods are testing us," head coach Aki Thomas said of the three consecutive overtime games.  "I'm proud of the guys… we have to figure out how to put together two halves and I think we'll have a good team here."  

Elliott, who has started at the point guard position in his first four collegiate games, hit 8-of-14 shots from the floor, 3-of-6 from behind the arc and 7-of-8 from the charity stripe. He also added five assists and six rebounds.

He led five Retrievers in double figures. Taylor, Jr. scored a season-best 17 points, and junior forward Devarick Houston (Jonesboro, Ga./Mays/Chattahoochee Tech) posted a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds. Getz and Plummer each scored 10 points.

UMBC, which had been outrebounded in its first three games, overwhelmed foul-plagued Mount St. Mary's, 53-33, on the glass, including 20-2 on the offensive boards. That led to a 19-1 margin in second-chance points for the Retrievers.

The Mount, which was shooting over 60 percent from the floor well into the second half, finished at 50.0 percent, hitting 28-of-56 attempts. UMBC recovered from a poor first half and ended the game at 40.0 percent, converting 30 field goals on 75 attempts.

UMBC won its fourth straight over Mount St. Mary's at the RAC Arena and now trail in the series, 29-19.

The 90 points scored by the Retrievers is the most since they amassed 91 in a 91-54 win over Stevenson on Nov. 15, 2008.

UMBC remains at the RAC Arena to face another local rival as they welcome Loyola on Nov. 20.