The UMBC Retrievers return from an eight-day layoff and close 2015 by entertaining in-state foe Maryland, Eastern Shore at the RAC Arena on Thursday, Dec. 31. Tip-off time for the contest between UMBC and UMES is slated for 1:00 p.m.
Gary Stein and Paul Mittermeier will have the call on www.umbcretrievers.tv, beginning at 12:55 p.m. Live stats will be available via www.umbcretrievers.com and fans can also follow via the men's basketball program's Twitter feed (UMBC_MBB). Access of live stats and video is also available via UMBC Front Row, UMBC Athletics' mobile website.
RETRIEVERS' UPDATE: UMBC (3-10) will try to put back-to-back home victories together after a 75-63 victory over Mount St. Mary's on Dec. 12. However, the Retrievers have dropped a pair of local road contests since the triumph over the Mountaineers, falling at Howard (103-93) on Dec. 19 and at Towson (91-65) on Dec. 23.
Despite the losses, sophomore guard Jairus Lyles had debuted with a flourish, scoring 51 points in the two contests. Lyles' 27 points at Howard was the most ever by a UMBC Division I player in a debut and he became the first Retriever to score 20 or more points in his first two appearances in the black and gold.
Freshman wing Joe Sherburne has scored in double figures in 10 of his first 13 intercollegiate games and averages 13.8 points per contest. Sherburne's 35 treys lead UMBC and is already the ninth-most by a Retriever freshman in school history.
In his return after missing the 2014-15 season due to injury, red-shirt sophomore guard Rodney Elliott is scoring 12.8 points per game, while junior wing Will Darley is the fourth Retriever in double figures at 11.3 points per contest. Darley leads UMBC in field goal percentage at 54.7 percent.
HAWK UPDATE: UMES (3-11) enters the contest playing its best basketball of the season, posting back-to-back wins over American. 79-64, and Central Penn, 115-86, before suffering a tough 78-68 loss at a 11-2 St. Joseph's squad on Dec. 29. Senior guard Devin Martin, who scored a game-high 23 points in Philadelphia, averages a team-best 17.2 points per game and has scored 94 points over the last three contests. Martin has converted 14 of 28 treys in those efforts.
SERIES NOTES: UMBC has won four of six previous meetings, including all three contests in Baltimore. A year before last year's setback in Princess Anne, UMBC triumphed, 64-59, at the RAC Arena on Dec. 2, 2013. UMBC trailed, 28-24, at the half, but scored the first seven points of the second stanza and never trailed after that point. Elliott scored in double figures with 10 points.
LAST YEAR'S MEETING: UMBC fell behind, 27-7, in the early going, and the Retrievers could not recover, falling, 65-52, to the host Hawks on Dec. 2 of last season. UMBC was outrebounded, 40-25, and misfired on 14 of 18 shots from behind the arc. Cody Joyce scored 10 points for the Retrievers.
WHO'S UP NEXT: UMBC completes its non-conference schedule on Saturday, Jan. 2 when they travel to Newark, N.J., to take on NJIT for a 4:00 p.m. contest. The Retrievers open America East Conference play at defending league champion Albany on Wednesday, Jan. 6.