Lyles, Darley,Elliott All Top 20 Points as Men's Basketball Surges Past UMES, 89-75

Lyles, Darley,Elliott All Top 20 Points as Men's Basketball Surges Past UMES, 89-75

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BALTIMORE –  UMBC sophomore guards Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) and Rodney Elliott (Baltimore, Md./John Carroll) combined for 46 points and junior wing Will Darley (Timonium, Md./Dulaney) tied a career-best with 23 points as the Retrievers (4-10) shot a sizzling 58.5 percent from the floor in a 89-75 victory over Maryland Eastern Shore (3-12) at the RAC Arena.


Lyles, who has amassed 77 points in his first three games in black and gold, led all scorers with 26 points and Elliott chipped in a season-high 20 points. It was the first time that three Retrievers scored in double figures in a game since January of 2008, when Cavell Johnson (22), Brian Hodges (21) and Darryl Proctor (21) all reached that plateau in an 86-73 victory over New Hampshire.


Darley came within two field goals made of knotting a school record. He buried all eight field goal attempts, including 4-of-4 from three-point range. UMBC Hall of Famer Breck Robinson hit all 10 field goal attempts in a 1985 contest versus Coppin State. 


Trailing 42-36 at the half, UMES scored the first two field goals of the second half to quickly trim their deficit to 42-40. But Elliott scored UMBC's first eight points and Lyles and Darley knocked down treys in a quick 14-3 reply as the hosts rebuilt the lead to 56-43 with 14:03 remaining.


The Hawks stayed within striking distance after two free throws by post Dominque Elliott cut the gap to 70-59 with 6:35 to play. But a good passing sequence led to a trey by freshman wing Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.), starting a 16-4 surge which put the game out of reach in the final three minutes.


UMBC hit 31 of 53 shots from the field and 10-of-25 from behind the arc and outrebounded the larger Hawk squad, 34-27. Lyles added season bests in assists (7) and steals (4) and led a balanced effort with six rebounds. He converted 10-of-19 shots from the floor to post his school-record third straight game with 20 or more points to start a Retriever career.


Sherburne also scored in double figures for UMBC with 10 points.


Senior guard Devin Martin led UMES with 24 points, while Dominique Elliott posted 16 points a game-high seven rebounds.


With the game tied at 10-all, Darley, Elliott and Lyles buried treys on successive possessions to give UMBC a 19-10 lead at the 13:23 mark. The Retrievers extended the lead to 26-16, but the Hawks scored the next eight points to cut the lead to 26-24 and eventually knotted the game at 33-all with 4:15 to play in the stanza.


But UMBC outscored UMES, 9-3, down the stretch, including a runner by Sherburne just before the horn to give the hosts a 42-36 lead at the half.


Darley converted all six of his field goal attempts in the first 20 minutes, including all three from behind the arc and amassed 16 points by intermission. Lyles did most of his damage inside of 18 feet and scored 12 points by the break.


Both teams shot the ball extremely well in the first half, as UMBC hit 15 of 25 attempts from the floor and 6-of-13 from behind the arc, while the Hawks converted 13-of-26 shots overall and 6-of-12 from long distance.


UMBC completes the non-conference slate on Saturday, Jan . 2 when they visit NJIT in a 4:00 p.m. contest. The game will be broadcast by ESPN3.