Men's Basketball Closes Non-League Slate at NJIT on Saturday

Men's Basketball Closes Non-League Slate at NJIT on Saturday

UMBC at NJIT Game Notes, Jan. 2, 2016

The UMBC Retrievers complete the 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. Tip-off time for the contest between UMBC and NJIT is slated for 4:00 p.m. at the Fleisher Athletic Center.  


The contest will be broadcast on ESPN3. Live stats will be available via 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 (4-10) snapped a two-game slide and posted its second consecutive home win by virtue of an 89-75 victory over in-state foe Maryland Eastern Shore on New Year's Eve. UMBC sophomore guards Jairus Lyles (26) and Rodney Elliott (20) combined for 46 points and junior wing Will Darley tied a career-best with 23 points as the Retrievers shot a sizzling 58.5 percent from the floor in the triumph.


Lyles has debuted with a flourish, scoring 77 points in his first three 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 (now three) appearances in the black and gold. 


Freshman wing Joe Sherburne has scored in double figures in 11 of his first 14 intercollegiate games and averages 13.6 points per contest. Sherburne's 36 treys lead UMBC and he is already has sunk the ninth-most by a Retriever freshman in school history.


In his return after missing the 2014-15 season due to injury, Elliott is scoring 13.3 points per game, while Darley is the fourth Retriever in double figures at 12.3 points per contest. After a perfect 8-for-8 effort from the field vs. UMES, Darley leads UMBC and is tied for the America East lead in field goal percentage at 58.5 percent.


HIGHLANDER UPDATE:  NJIT (8-6) is coming off a 77-65 victory at St. Francis (Pa.) on Tuesday. Junior guard Rob Ukawuba came off the bench to lead NJIT with 17 points as the visitors rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit. Junior guard Damon Lynn leads four Highlanders in double figures with 17.1 points per game, including 47 treys made. UMBC will be the fourth America East team that the Highlanders have faced in 2015-16. NJIT has a win over UMass Lowell (90-77) and setbacks at Albany (74-73) and versus Stony Brook two games ago (83-61).


LAST YEAR'S MEETING: In the first meeting between UMBC and NJIT exactly one year ago, the Highlanders hit 16-of-28 shots from the floor in the second half and defeated UMBC, 70-55, at the RAC Arena. NJIT only led, 26-24, at the break. Cody Joyce led UMBC with 16 points, while Jourdan Grant added five assists. Lynn led all scorers with 20 points for the visitors. NJIT shot 50 percent (25-of-50) for the game, while UMBC countered at 41.3 percent. UMBC won the rebounding battle, 34-27, but NJIT forced 21 turnovers and outscored UMBC, 23-6, in point off miscues. 


WHO'S UP NEXT: The Retrievers open their 13th season of America East Conference play at defending league champion Albany on Wednesday, Jan. 6.