Local Products Elliott, Jones Lead Men's Basketball Over UNH, 68-57

Local Products Elliott, Jones Lead Men's Basketball Over UNH, 68-57

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BALTIMORE – UMBC's starting backcourt of local products Rodney Elliott (Baltimore, Md./John Carroll) and Quentin Jones (Baltimore, Md./Mount St. Joseph) combined for 37 points as the host Retrievers rallied for a  68-57 victory over New Hampshire in an America East Conference contest played at the RAC Arena.

Elliott scored 21 points and dished out four assists, while Jones tied a career-high with 16 points, hitting all three attempts from behind the arc. Elliott earned UMBC's America East Player of the Game honor, while Wildcat leading scorer, freshman wing Jacoby Armstrong led his side with 14 points and claimed the post-game honor.

The Retrievers equaled last year's win total by improving to 8-15 overall and moved to 4-6 in America East play. UMBC has won three of its last four outings and improved to 7-3 at home this season. UNH slipped to 5-17, 3-6.

UMBC trailed, 29-24 at the break and New Hampshire increased its lead to a game-high 33-24 just 1:13 into the second frame.  UNH led, 42-36 after a pair of Jaleen Smith free throws with 13:55 remaining, but the Retrievers would go on a mammoth 24-5 surge over the next eight minutes to take control.

The Retrievers would take the lead for good on senior forward Chase Plummer's (Plainfield, N.J./St. Patrick) lay-up at 45-44 with 11:11 remaining. Elliott would hit a trey to extend the lead to 52-46 with 9:14 remaining and senior post Brett Roseboro (Quakertown, Pa./Quakertown) hit back-to-back lay-ins in an 18-second span to increase the margin to 58-47 with 7:34 to play.

Elliott converted two more free throws to extend the advantage to 13 points at the 6:44 mark, but the Wildcats made a final push. UNH countered with a 10-2 run, capped by a pair of Armstrong free throws to bring the visitors to within 62-57 with 2:04 remaining.

But a great back-door pass by Roseboro found Elliott cutting down the baseline and the freshman guard converted the short bank shot and subsequent free throw with 1:24 left to restore an eight-point UMBC advantage. 

UNH was unable to score on their final four possessions.

UMBC hit ten of its first 15 shots from the floor in the second half and finished at 52.5 percent (21-of-40) for the game, while UNH struggled to 33.3 percent shooting (16-of-48). Both teams excelled from the charity stripe, as the Wildcats converted 20-of-25 and the Retrievers converted 20-of-22.

UMBC misfired on 19 of 40 attempts in Saturday's 83-80 loss at Maine.  Tonight, Elliott was 7-for-7 from the line and Jones hit all five of his attempts.

Roseboro was a third Retriever in double figures with 10 points and he led the hosts with five caroms. Armstrong led his side with eight rebounds, as UNH outrebounded UMBC, 29-23.

UMBC opened the game on an 8-1 run, but New Hampshire scored the next 15 points of the contest to capture a 16-8 advantage at the 11:07 mark of the first half. The Wildcats led for the remainder of the stanza, but UMBC won for the sixth time when trailing at the break.  

The Retrievers continue their three-game homestand when they welcome America East newcomer UMass Lowell to the RAC Arena for a 2:00 p.m. tilt on Saturday, Feb. 8.