Greeley, Colorado – UMBC freshman wing Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) scored a season-high 19 points, but Cal Poly (3-2) buried 15 three-point field goals en route to a 78-65 victory over the Retrievers in the title game of Maui Jim Maui Invitational Regional games played at Northern Colorado University.
Sherburne has scored in double figures in four of his first five collegiate contests. He hit 7-of-11 shots from the floor and 3-of-7 from behind the arc to lead the Retrievers. Sophomore guard Rodney Elliott (Baltimore, Md./John Carroll) added 13 points and five assists, while senior post Cody Joyce (Churchton, Md./Southern) scored 11 points.
The Retrievers got off to a tremendous start, hitting seven of their first ten shots of the game and three of four from behind the arc. After junior wing Will Darley (Timonium, Md./Dulaney) hit a pair of free throws at the 11:42 mark, UMBC had built a 19-7 lead, but the Mustangs would close the half on a 27-12 run to take a 34-27 advantage into the break. UMBC misfired on 17 of their final 21 shots from the field, while Cal Poly buried 11 of their final 20 to take control.
The Mustangs (3-2) continued their onslaught in the second half, as they buried 10-of-15 shots from behind the arc .
After Joyce hit a lay-up to keep the Retrievers within 45-36 with 15:59 to play, Cal Poly responded with a 9-1 run to lead by 17 points with 14:33 remaining.
But UMBC (1-4) would not go quietly, as they drew fouls and whittled the lead to 71-62 after four consecutive free throws made by Elliott with 4:33 to play. UMBC got a stop on the other end, but Elliott misfired on a trey and Cal Poly buried two successive treys to regain a double-digit advantage and go on to their victory.
The Retrievers committed a season-low five turnovers, but were outrebounded, 39-28. UMBC shot 43.4 percent (23-of-53) from the floor, but hit just one of their final 15 shots from behind the arc.
Cal Poly senior forward Joel Awich earned tournament Most Valuable Player honors as he scored 18 points and added nine rebounds in the game.
UMBC returns home for a pair of games this week, entertaining Navy on Wednesday, Nov. 25 (7:00 p.m.) and Colgate on Saturday ,Nov. 28 (1:00 p.m.)