The UMBC men's basketball team (8-5) gets back into action after an extended layoff when they make the short trip down I-95 south to take on the Maryland Terrapins (11-3) at XFinity Center on Friday, Dec. 29 at 8:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast nationally on Fox Sports 1 with Justin Kutcher and Tarik Turner on the call.
For fans making the trip to the game, here is Maryland's new Clear Bag Policy for entrance to the facility.
Retriever Update: Back on December 17, UMBC graduate student guard Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) tied a season-high with 31 points, including the Retrievers' final 11 points of the game as UMBC edged visiting Northern Kentucky, 76-75, in a match-up of two of the four most improved teams in the nation from a year ago.
UMBC won eight of 13 games in a hectic 35-day span to open the campaign. The Retrievers have won two straight, four of five and seven of the last nine games.
UMBC improved to 6-0 at home this season and have won 11 of 12 at the RAC Arena, dating back to last season.
Lyles was named America East Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for games ending December 17. He averaged 29.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game in leading UMBC to home victories over Coppin State and Northern Kentucky.
He leads America East in scoring (21.8 points per game) and steals (2.3 per game) and is ranked fourth in 3-pt. field goals made (2.8 per game), fifth in assists (4.0 per game) and 3-pt. field goal percentage (46.7), sixth in free throw percentage (81.7) and 12th in rebounding (5.4 per game).
Sophomore forward Arkel Lamar (Bridgeport, Conn.) (14.3 ppg, team high 7.2 rpg) has enjoyed a stellar start, while junior forward Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) (11.5 ppg) and senior guard K.J. Maura (San Juan, P.R.) (10.4 ppg) also average in double figures. Lyles and that trio have combined to knock down 118-of-249 shots (47.4 percent) from behind the arc.
UMBC is averaging 81.4 points per game and the Retrievers are converting 12.4 treys per game, best in the nation through games of Dec. 26. They are 4th with 161 total l3-pt. field goals made and 8th in 3-point field goal percentage (42.5).
A Glance at the Terrapins: Maryland has won five straight, including a 75-50 triumph over Fairleigh Dickinson on December 21. Three Terrapin underclassmen are averaging in double figures, led by guard Anthony Cowen, who averages 15.6 points per contest. He also leads the squad in assists (61) and steals (19). Classmate and wing Kevin Huerter scores 13.7 points per game and leads the squad in treys (35), while freshman post Bruno Fernando nets 10.3 points per game and has converted 61.8 percent from the field.
The Terrapins shoot 49.9 percent from the floor and are holding foes to 37.9 percent efficiency, including a mark of 28.8 percent from behind the arc. They are +10.6 in rebounding margin, but -4.2 in turnover margin. Maryland opened the season with a 76-61 win versus UMBC's league rival Stony Brook, in a game played on Long Island.
Series Record: The sister institutions have not met since the 2002-03 season. Maryland has won all the previous 13 meetings, all played in College Park, including a 101-60 decision on December 23, 2002.
Other UMBC Notes: UMBC's lone win over a major conference school did occur against a current Big 10 program… The Retrievers defeated Nebraska, 66-64, in December of 2008… Lyles has moved into tenth place on UMBC's all-time scoring list with 1,304 points… He needs just 20 points to leapfrog three players and move into seventh place.
Up Next: UMBC hosts Centenary (N.J.) on Sunday, Dec. 31 at 1 p.m., before opening America East Conference play at home versus New Hampshire on Wednesday, Jan. 3. Tip-off time is slated for 7:00 p.m.