Men's Basketball Drops Opener at Arizona State, 96-61

Rodney Elliott scored 12 points in his debut.
Rodney Elliott scored 12 points in his debut.

Tempe, Ariz. – The Retriever men's basketball team battled Pac-12 Arizona State competitively for 30 minutes, but could not overcome late game shooting woes and fell, 96-61, at Wells Fargo Arena.

UMBC freshman guard Rodney Elliott (Baltimore, Md./John Carroll) got the start for an injured Quentin Jones at the point guard slot (Baltimore ,Md./Mount St. Joseph) and co-led a balanced UMBC offense with 12 points. Sophomore Malik Garner (Philadelphia, Pa./Chestnut Hill Acad.) also scored a career-high 12.

All five Sun Devil starters posted double figures, paced by 19 each from guards Jahii Carson and Jermaine Marshall.

UMBC outscored the Sun Devils, 17-11, to open the second half and were within 60-49 after a Chase Plummer (Plainfield, N.J./St. Patrick) field goal with 10:24 remaining. The Retrievers got a stop on the other end and freshman Will Darley (Timonium, Md./Dulaney) had an open look at a trey to slice the deficit to eight, but the shot drew iron.

The contest then quickly spiraled out of control for UMBC as the hosts went on a 15-0 run and took control of the game with a 75-49 advantage with 7:30 to play.

The Retrievers were outdone at the free throw line by the Sun Devils and by themselves. ASU hit 33-of-44 from the charity stripe as UMBC was whistled for 30 fouls. The Retrievers misfired on 10-of-16 in the second half and were only 11-of-25 for the game.

UMBC took an early 8-5 lead on a Getz jumper with 16:57 to play in the stanza, but a quick 7-0 Sun Devil run put the hosts ahead to stay in the first 20 minutes. Midway through the half, Garner and Aaron Morgan hit treys on consecutive possessions for UMBC, and the Retrievers had cut the gap to 23-20 with 8:36 to play.

But UMBC did not score over the next four minutes and the hosts hit seven of eight free throws in a 12-0 run to give Arizona State a 35-20 advantage with 5:03 remaining.

Carson hit an off-balance runner with two ticks to play and sent his squad to the locker room with a 45-28 advantage.

UMBC senior Brett Roseboro (Quakertown, Pa./Quakertown) led UMBC with nine rebounds.

The Retrievers return home to face Eastern (Pa.) on Monday evening at the RAC Arena.