One of the country's most prolific scorers, UMBC sophomore guard Jairus Lyles, leads the Retrievers as they face the nation's hottest team as the America East-leading Stony Brook Seawolves invade the RAC Arena for "Back in Black" Night on Thursday, Feb. 11. Lyles, the reigning America East and College Sports Madness Player of the Week, poured in 37 points in UMBC's win at Maine on Saturday and is averaging 25.4 per game in his 14 games as a Retriever. Stony Brook (20-4, 11-0 America East) is riding the nation's top winning streak with 16 straight entering the RAC Arena this evening. Tip-off time is set for 7:05 p.m.
The contest will be broadcast on www.americaeast.tv, and the Retrievers' flagship, www.q1370.com (1370AM) with Gary Stein and Paul Mittermeier on the call. 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: Lyles scored 37 points, the third-most in school history, leading the Retrievers to an 83-79 victory over Maine in a contest played at the Portland Expo Center on Saturday. Lyles scored the top figure by a Retriever in 24 seasons, tallying the most points since Derell Thompson set the UMBC record when he scored 43 points at Towson on Feb. 15, 1992. He hit 14-of-19 shots from the floor, three-of-five from behind the arc and six-of-seven from the charity stripe in 39 minutes. The 14 field goals made is one shy of a UMBC Division I record.
The Retrievers converted a season-best 60 percent (33-of-55) from the floor in the win over the Black Bears.
Lyles (25.4 ppg) has scored 24 or more points in all but two of his 14 outings and the Retrievers are averaging 78.4 points per game during his tenure.
In his return after missing the 2014-15 season due to injury, red-shirt sophomore guard Rodney Elliott is averaging 13.2 points. Junior forward Will Darley, who recorded a career-high seven assists on Saturday, is tenth in America East in field goal percentage at 49.7 percent, while freshman wing Joe Sherburne got untracked at Maine, posting his first career double-double (12 pts., 12 rebounds).
SEAWOLF UPDATE: Stony Brook has not lost in 2016 and their scoring margin in 11 league victories is +19.4. They are coming off a 85-72 victory over Hartford on Monday night on Long Island. Senior post Jameel Warney had a monster game, hitting 16-of-18 shots from the floor in a 36-point, 13-rebound effort. Senior guard Carson Puriefoy added 22 points in a game that SBU led from start to finish.
Warney, the reigning America East Player of the Year, is averaging 19.0 points and 10.7 caroms per game and is ranked ninth in the nation in field goal percentage at 63.5 percent. He has also fifth in the country with nearly three rejections per game. Puriefoy averages 14.6 points per contest and leads SBU with 59 treys made.
EARLIER MATCH-UP AND THE SERIES: UMBC trimmed a 17-point deficit to three points midway through the second half, but Stony Brook weathered the storm and prevailed, 86-74, at IFCU Arena on January 16. Lyles led all scorers with 24 points. Bryan Sekunda started the game red-hot from behind the arc and led his side with 21 points.
UMBC has dropped 15 straight to SBU and trail the all-time series, 20-8. The Retrievers won four of the first five games at the RAC Arena, but have dropped seven in a row. UMBC's last victory over Stony Brook occurred in the 2008 America East quarterfinals.
WHO'S UP NEXT: UMBC starts a two-game road swing by visiting UMass Lowell on Sunday, Feb. 14 at noon.