The UMBC men's basketball team (6-4) concludes its four-game segment away from the friendly confines of the RAC Arena when the Retrievers make the short trip to Towson (9-1) to face the red-hot Tigers at SECU Arena on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 2:00 p.m. The game will be streamed at www.towsontigers.com.
The Retrievers have won five of their last six, six of the last eight and two in a row on the road since an 0-3 start.
Retriever Update: Behind a 46-point second half, the UMBC men's basketball team (6-4) rallied to defeat the Delaware State Hornets (2-8), 81-60, on Wednesday, December 6.
In his first game since November 24, graduate student guard Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) put up 21 points in the effort, going 5-9 from beyond the arc. He also dished out a season-high six assists. Senior backcourt mate K.J. Maura (San Juan, P.R.) and sophomore forward Arkel Lamar (Bridgeport, Conn.) added 15 points eacj helping UMBC to a 48.5% day from downtown.
Lyles, who had not dressed in the past three games due to injury, leads the team at 19.9 points per game. Lyles has moved into 13th place on UMBC's all-time scoring list with 1,225 points. Lamar (15.6 ppg, team high 7.2 rpg) has enjoyed a stellar start, while Maura (12.0 ppg, 6.3 apg) junior forward Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) (11.4 ppg) also average in double figures. Lamar is 29-of-54 (53.7 percent, ranked 11th in the nation) from 3-point range, while Maura has produced 44 assists and committed just 11 turnovers in seven games to date.
UMBC, which is averaging 83.6 points per game, leads the nation with 127 3-pt. field goals made through games of Dec. 7. The Retrievers are ranked second in treys made per game (12.7, Davidson leads at 13.1) and are fourth in 3-point field goal percentage (43.6).
A Glance at the Tigers: Towson (9-1) has won nine straight since an opening 57-54 setback at Old Dominion. The Tigers edged visiting Morgan State, 82-78, in overtime on Dec. 6. Sophomore guard Zane Martin topped all scorers with 25 points as the hosts prevailed after the Bears ralled from a 17-point second half deficit.
The Tigers are dominating their foes in every statistical category with a +14.4 scoring margin, a +7.5 rebounding edge and substantial edges in field goal and 3-point field goal percentages. The most striking number is that Towson foes only convert 4.7 treys per game.
Martin has emerged for Towson and leads the team at 18.2 points per game and is converting 54.4 percent from the floor and a team-high 19 treys. Senior backcourt mate Mike Morsell posts 13.2 points per game.
Series Record: Towson leads the all-time series, 38-20, and has captured the last four meetings in UMBC's longest-running series. The Tigers have won 21 of 32 all-time contests on their campus. The series has been marked by prolonged streaks – UMBC won nine straight from 1998-2005, and Towson has responded with a pair of four-game runs (2005-2011 and 2013-current).
Last season, UMBC (7-3) led for over 32 minutes against Towson (7-4), but the visiting Tigers scored the game's final six points and nipped the Retrievers, 73-72, before 1,311 energized fans at the RAC Arena. Towson guard Mike Morsell capped the late game rally with a driving layup with 12 seconds remaining. The Retrievers got possession under the basket with 7.5 seconds to play, but Jairus Lyles' ten-footer in the paint glanced off the front of the rim with two ticks left and the rebound could not be corralled as time expired.
UMBC senior forward Will Darley led all scorers with 22 points, while Joe Sherburne added 18.
Other UMBC Notes: The Retrievers knocked down 10 or more treys in 16 games last season and have converted 10 of more in nine of ten games (9 consecutive) in 2017-18. Hence, in the Ryan Odom era, UMBC has converted double-digit treys in 25 of 44 games… Last season, UMBC scholarship players missed only 11 games in a 34-game season due to injury. Through ten games this season, that number is already at 26. After the same starting lineup for the first six games, there have been three different quintets in the past four contests.
Up Next: UMBC returns home for the first time since Nov. 24 when they host local foe Coppin State on Tuesday, Dec. 12. Tip-off time is slated for 7:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3.