BALTIMORE – UMBC sophomore guard Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) poured in 29 points, but the Retrievers missed all eight field goal attempts in overtime and fell, 95-89, in extra time to visiting UMass Lowell.
UMBC freshman wing Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) sent the game into overtime by burying a 3-pointer just before the horn. But the visiting River Hawks (6-11, 2-2) scored on the first possession of overtime and never trailed in the final 4:38 of the contest. Lyles, who scored 25 of his 29 points in the second half, only took a pair of shot attempts in the overtime period.
UML sophomore reserve guard Matt Harris smashed his career high and led all scorers with 32 points.
The Retrievers led, 36-30, at halftime and built a ten-point advantage at 60-50 midway through the second half and forced an empty possession by the River Hawks. But UMBC committed a turnover on the next possession and Harris banged home a trey on the other end to start an 8-0 run by the visitors.
UMBC (5-14, 1-3 AE) appeared to steady, rebuilding seven-point edge at 72-65 on a layup by sophomore guard Rodney Elliott (Baltimore, Md./John Carroll) with 5:23 remaining. But UML, which hit 18-of-27 shots in the second half and 6-of-10 from behind the arc, scored on its next seven possessions. After Harris tied the game at 73-all with a trey from the right side, UMBC committed a turnover and an ensuing flagrant foul. River Hawk freshman reserve guard Logan Primerano converted both free throws and a field goal as UML retained the ball. The Retrievers misfired on their end and Harris capped the 9-0 run with a pair of free throws to give his side a 79-73 lead with 1:40 to play.
But UMBC scored the next five points on an Elliott rebound and bucket and a long Lyles trey. The teams exchanged field goals and Harris hit two free throws with 15 seconds remaining to give UML an 83-80 lead. UMBC had three chances to tie, with Sherburne and Lyles missing treys, separated by a time-out. UMBC junior forward Will Darley (Timonium, Md./Dulaney) rebounded Lyles' miss with four seconds left and kicked the ball to Sherburne, who knocked down the trey from 23 feet, just to the right of the key.
UML went to a zone defense down the stretch of the second half and throughout overtime and the Retrievers misfired on 11 of their final 12 treys, as Sherburne's game-tying basket was the lone conversion.
The River Hawks scored the first six points of overtime, but did give UMBC one chance in the run of play to get the game tied. But Sherburne missed with 63 seconds left and Elliott made just 2-of-4 free throw attempts on the next two possessions. Trailing 93-89, Sherburne could not convert from behind the arc with 10 seconds left and Harris sealed the victory with two free throws.
UMBC ended regulation shooting 50 percent from the floor (29-of-58) and 9-of-20 from behind the arc, but all eight of its misses in OT came from long distance. Hence, the Retrievers finished at 43.9 percent for the game and failed on 10 of 32 free throw attempts. UML hit 54.4 percent for the contest (31-of-57) and outrebounded UMBC, 38-32.
Lyles hit 10 field goals (of 18) for the fourth time in his eight games as a Retriever. Elliott scored a season-high 24 points and led the hosts with seven rebounds. Senior post Cody Joyce (Churchton, Md./Southern), Darley and Sherburne all scored in double figures with 11, 10 and 10 respectively.
Harris led four River Hawks in double figures as he converted 8-of-13 from the floor, 5-of-9 from behind the arc and 11-of-12 from the stripe. Sophomore Jahad Thomas added 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting, and contributed five assists and six steals.
Both teams struggled with possession in the first half as UML committed 11 turnovers and the Retrievers, who also suffered four in 40 minutes at Stony Brook on Wednesday, committed seven. The key run of the stanza occurred in the late going, when UMBC erased a 21-17 deficit by virtue of a 16-7 run and led, 33-26 on a Cody Joyce layup with 1:52 to play in the half. The Retrievers settled for a 36-30 halftime advantage with Elliott scoring 13 points.
UMass Lowell also won in overtime at the RAC a season ago, 73-61, and ironically, held UMBC without a field goal in extra time in that victory as well.
UMBC returns home Thursday, Jan. 21 when they welcome Hartford to the RAC Arena.