Sporting its best record through eight games in its 30-year NCAA Division I history, the UMBC men's basketball squad (7-1) travels to Virginia for the first of three December games in the commonwealth and will face the University of Richmond on Saturday, Dec. 10.
Tip-off time has been moved to 7:30 p.m and the game will be televised live by Comcast SpotsNet Mid-Atlantic Plus with Robert Fish and Lane Casadonte 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 (A-10 is a subscription service) is also available via UMBC Front Row, UMBC Athletics' mobile website.
UMBC will visit James Madison on Dec. 23 and Virginia Tech on Dec. 28.
RETRIEVERS' UPDATE: With the 78-70 win over Mt. St. Mary's on Dec. 7, the Retrievers' 7-1 start is the best in the school's 30-year NCAA Division I history, surpassing the 2007-08 America East championship team. It equals the 7-1 start to the 1981-82 campaign, when UMBC was a member of Division II. The seven victories also equals the total from a year ago.
Sophomore forward Joe Sherburne scored a career-high 28 points against the Mount, connecting on a school-record six-of-six from behind the arc. Junior guard Jairus Lyles added 24 points. Trailing 29-28 at the half, UMBC scored the first 11 points of the second half to take control of the contest. UMBC converted 13-of-20 field goal and 20-of-28 free throw attempts in the final 20 minutes to edge the Mount in their home debut of the season.
Lyles leads the squad and is second in America East and, averaging 21.3 points per game. He is also tenth in field goal percentage at 50.5, and leads the league with 1.7 steals per contest.
Sherburne, who has knocked down 14-of-16 treys over the past three games, is now ranked 13th nationally in 3-pt. field goal percentage at 53.7 percent. He is now averaging 13.8 points per contest. Senior forward Will Darley is also averaging in double figures at 11.9 points per contest.
UMBC is averaging an America East-high 84.4 points per game and is shooting at a league-best 49.8 percent clip from the floor in the early stages of the campaign.
DOG BYTES: Through games of Dec. 7, UMBC was 30th in the nation in scoring average at 84.4 points per game. They are also ranked tied for 11th nationally with 10.5 three-point field goals made per game and 11th in 3-pt. field goal percentage (42.6). With only 11.1 turnovers per contest, the Retrievers have improved to 25th in the nation.
The Retrievers also lead America East in scoring margin (+13.6), treys made per game and 3-pt. percentage, assists per game (14.9), and assist/turnover ratio (+1.3).
UMBC recorded five wins in November, the most wins in a month since winning seven in February of 2008 and the most wins in November since winning the same number in November of 2007.
SPIDER UPDATE: Richmond (4-4) has been off since Dec. 3, when they dropped a 75-67 decision vs. Wake Forest. The Spiders' four losses have come by a total of 22 points.
Six-foot-nine senior T.J. Cline had a big game against the Deacons, scoring 20 points and adding eight assists and six rebounds. WFU outscored UR, 21-6, from the charity stripe to prevail.
Cline added 22 points in the previous outing, a 73-68 loss versus Bucknell. He leads the squad at 18.9 points per game, followed closely by senior guard ShawnDré Jones at 18.4 points per contest. Jones leads UR with 16 treys made in 8 contests.
Richmond is forcing 15.1 turnovers per game and foes are just shooting 31.1 percent from beyond the arc.
The Spiders were 16-16 a year ago and returned 10 letterwinners and two starters from that squad.
THE SERIES: In the lone previous meeting between the two universities, senior forward Cavell Johnson's dunk with 3.2 seconds left broke a 68-all tie and propelled visiting UMBC to a 70-68 victory over Richmond at the Robins Center on Nov. 17, 2007.
Johnson had tied the game on a short baseline jumper with 29 seconds left. On the game-winning play, Retriever junior guard Jay Greene stole the ball from UR freshman guard Kevin Anderson as he tried to penetrate into the lane. Greene drove down the left side of the court and found a streaking Johnson down the center and the UMBC forward slammed home the game winner.
Johnson led four Retrievers in double figures as he scored a game-high 20 points. He also added nine rebounds. Senior guard Brian Hodges scored 17 points off the bench, while Darryl Proctor and Ray Barbosa scored 14 and 11 points respectively. Barbosa posted a double-double with a game-high and career-best 10 rebounds.
UMBC went 3-0 against A-10 teams in that championship season, defeating GW and La Salle, all on the road.
WHO'S UP NEXT: UMBC has the week off from competition as final exams begin on campus on Dec. 15. The Retrievers get back into action with a quick two-game homestand, beginning with a contest on Saturday, Dec. 17, as the Towson Tigers invade the RAC Arena for a 7:00 p.m. contest. That game will mark the debut of Retriever men's basketball on ESPN3 and New York Times best-selling author John Feinstein joins Gary Stein on the call of the contest.