Durham, N.H.— UMBC men's basketball suffered a 78-69 loss at the hands of New Hampshire on Saturday. The Retrievers came to within three points of the Wildcats, but UNH finished the game 10-11 from the foul line to hold on. UMBC falls to 7-24, 3-13 AE. Sophomore Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha/VCU) set the sophomore season scoring record on Saturday.
The Retrievers hung around with the Wildcats in the early going, getting six points from Jourdan Grant (Bowie, Md./Archbishop Spalding) in the first couple minutes. However the Wildcats responded, going on a 10-0 run over a three-minute span to give them a 23-9 lead, forcing coach Thomas to burn a timeout.
Freshman Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc./Whitefish Bay) drilled a three to end the run, giving the Retrievers their first bucket in over five minutes. That three seemed to spark the Retriever offense. UMBC went on a 7-0 run fueled by Ishmail Jabbie (Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt) and Nolan Gerrity (Cleveland, Ohio/Barea-Midpark) who each hit a pair of free throws on the run.
Lyles would hit a lay-up to cut the deficit to just five, holding UNH without a bucket for four minutes.
New Hampshire would have the answer, outscoring the Retirevers, 15-6 over the last three minutes of the half to take a 41-26 lead into the locker rooms.
The Wildcats came out early in the half, extending their lead to as many as 19 in the early going.
UMBC would finally wake up. The Retrievers would cut the deficit to just 10 following a Lyles steal and run out. Jakob Stenhede (Goteburg, Sweden/Lerums Gymnasium) would follow up with a baby hook in the lane to make it 56-48 Wildcats.
The Retrievers would continue the comeback, cutting it to three after buckets by Sherburne and Grant.
However the comeback would be quelled, as New Hampshire went 10-11 from the foul line down the stretch to hold on for a 78-69 victory.
Lyles led all scorers with 27 points, becoming the program leader for most points scored by a sophomore in a single season. Grant added 14, while Sherburne chipped in ten and nine rebounds.
UMBC will be the eight seed in the America East Tournament and travel to play top seeded Stony Brook on Wednesday, March 2.