Tuscon, Ariz. – UMBC graduate student guard Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) led all scorers with 31 points, but third-ranked Arizona overcame a spirited Retriever effort and triumphed, 103-78, before 13,496 at McKale Arena.
Senior guard Jourdan Grant (Bowie, Md./Archbishop Spalding) buried a pair of treys to spark an 8-2 run to start the second half and brought UMBC to within 58-55 at the 17:48 mark.
UMBC was still within 81-68 after freshman wing Brandon Horvath (West River, Md./Southern) knocked down his second trey of the game at the 8:57 mark. But the Wildcats scored the next 11 points of the game to put the game out of reach.
Junior guard Allonzo Trier led the Wildcats with 30 points.
Lyles tied his career best with five treys (5-of-8) and topped the 30-point mark for the fifth time in his career.
UMBC hit its first four shots of the game and took an 11-5 lead after Arkel Lamar hit a baseline trey at the 17-minute mark. But the Wildcats knocked down 14 of their first 18 attempts of the the game and built a 34-18 lead midway through the half. However, Lyles took over the game, scoring 18 of UMBC's 21 points in a stretch that saw the visitors slice the deficit to 41-35 after a circus trey by Lyles at the 5:59 mark.
The Wildcats would extend the margin back to double digits, but junior wing Joe Sherburne's off-balance deuce with 23 seconds to play in the half cut the gap to 56-47 at the break.
Lyles hit all four attempts from behind the arc and was 7-of-10 overall. UMBC hit 16-of-30 shots overall in the stanza (53.3 percent), while the Wildcats buried 21-of-30 (70 percent.) The two teams combined to knock down 17 of 28 treys (UMBC 8-of-14, UA, 9-of-14) in the first twenty minutes.
Lyles added five rebounds, four assists and three steals in the contest. Grant added 14 points for UMBC, while sophomore forward Arkel Lamar (Bridgeport, Conn.) scored 11 points.
UMBC converted 14-of-28 shots from behind the arc, but faltered from the floor in the second half and ended the game at 41.9 percent (26-of-62). The Wildcats hit nearly 61 percent (39-of-64) and knocked down 15-of-28 from behind the arc.
UMBC returns home and will open the season at the RAC Arena for the final time on Thursday, Nov. 14, when they host Central Penn College. Tip time is slated for 7:00 p.m. and Gary Stein, John Feinstein and Paul Mittermeier will have the call on ESPN3.