The UMBC men's basketball team (4-3) travels to Charleston, S.C., for the first time since their Big South Conference days to compete in the Papa John's Bulldog Bash at The Citadel on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1 and 2. The Retrievers will face a strong Army West Point (3-2) squad on Friday at 5:00 p.m. The host Citadel will meet Marist in the opener at 3:00 p.m. The winners will face off on Saturday at 5:00 p.m, preceded by the consolation affair at 3:00 p.m. at McAlister Field House.
Retriever Update: UMBC outscored Shenandoah, 48-22, in the second half and posted an 88-59 victory in a Monday matinee at the RAC Arena. Junior forward Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) continued his sharp shooting, as he knocked down 4-of-9 treys and 7-of-12 shots overall to lead all scorers with 18 points. Sophomore forward Arkel Lamar (Bridgeport, Conn.) posted his second double-double of the season, with 12 points and 12 caroms, while senior guard K.J. Maura (San Juan, P.R.) posted 10 assists, 9 points and 3 steals.
UMBC (4-3) extended its winning streak to three and the Retrievers have won nine of their last ten games at home.
Graduate student guard Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha), who did not dress versus Shenandoah (injury), leads the team at 19.7 points per game. Lyles has moved into 13th place on UMBC's all-time scoring list with 1,204 points. Lamar (16.2 ppg, team high 7.0 rpg) has enjoyed a stellar start and three other Retrievers- senior guard Jourdan Grant (10.4 ppg), Sherburne (10.1) and Maura (10.0 ppg) are also averaging in double figures. Lamar is 22-of-37 (59.5 percent) from 3-point range, which ranks fifth in the country and his 3.3 treys per game are 25th-best in the nation through games of Nov. 30. Grant leads America East with a 2.57 assist-to-turnover ratio.
A Glance at the Black Knights: The two squads display similar profiles as Army averages 83.8 points per game, just 0.1 ppg lower than the Retrievers. Both teams have also been extremely proficient from behind the arc as UMBC hits at 44.2 percent, compared to 43.7 percent for the Black Knights.
Army had won three straight, including a convincing 94-73 victory over in-state foe Marist on Nov. 18, before falling, 77-71 at Niagara on Monday. Junior guard Jordan Fox led the way with 21 points, but Army could not hold onto a 40-33 halftime lead against the Purple Eagles.
Fox is averaging 20.8 points per game and, like UMBC's Lamar, has been brilliant from behind the arc, knocking down 20-of-37 shots (54.1 percent). Sophomore post Matt Wilson also averages in double figures at 14.0 points per game and is the team's leading rebounder at 8.2 per contest. Army outboards its foes by 8.2 caroms per contest.
Series Record: This will be the first meeting between the two institutions.
Other UMBC Notes: Sherburne has moved into eighth place on UMBC's all-time 3-point list with 144 treys… Through games of Nov. 28, UMBC is ranked ninth nationally in treys made per game (12.0), 3-point field goal percentage (44.2) and treys made (84)… UMBC is 17-5 under Coach Odom at the RAC Arena… This year marks the first since the 2001-02 season in which UMBC has competed in multiple tournament-formatted games (Battle 4 Atlantis Mainland, Papa John's Bulldog Bash). In that year, the Retrievers won the Battle of Baltimore Tournament and split in the Cable Car Classic.