The UMBC men's basketball team (10-6, 1-0 America East) opens a three-game America East road swing by taking on defending America East champion Vermont (10-5, 1-0 AE) at Patrick Gymnasium on Saturday, Jan. 6. Tip-off time is slated for 6:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3.
Retriever Update: Graduate student guard Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) scored 27 points, as UMBC rallied from an eight-point second half deficit to edge New Hampshire, 71-67, in the opener of America East Conference play for both squads. UMBC has won all eight home games this season and nine of its last 12 overall.
Retriever sophomore forward Arkel Lamar posted fourth double-double of the season with 20 points and ten rebounds.
UMBC senior guard K.J. Maura (San Juan, P.R.) tied a UMBC Division I record with seven steals in the game and added 11 points. The Retrievers forced 18 UNH miscues with 13 steals, a season high, and outscored the Wildcats, 17-9, off turnovers.
Lyles leads America East in scoring (21.2 points per game) and steals (2.4 per game) and is ranked 27th nationally in scoring and 19th in steals per contest.
Lamar (13.9 ppg, team high 7.0 rpg), junior forward Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) (10.6 ppg) and Maura (10.2 ppg) also average in double figures. After a 4-of-4 effort vs. UNH, Lamar is back in the top 20 (17) in 3-point field goal percentage nationally (48.3 percent).
UMBC is averaging a league-best 78.7 points per game and the Retrievers are converting 12.1 treys per game, still second-best in the nation through games of Jan. 4. They are third nationally with 193 total 3-pt. field goals made.
Other UMBC Notes: Head Coach Ryan Odom coached his 100th collegiate game and garnered victory No. 60… He is 31-19 after 50 games at UMBC… UMBC has tied its Division I mark with eight consecutive home victories. The 8-0 start at home in one season sets a new school mark… The all-time record for consecutive home wins is 14, bridging the 1978-79 and 1979-80 NCAA Division II campaigns… The Retrievers have posted back-to-back double-digit win seasons for the first time since the 2007-08 and 2008-09 campaigns.
A Glance at the Catamounts: Vermont has won three straight games, including the league opener on Thursday, an 88-77 triumph at UMass Lowell. Junior guard Ernie Duncan had a monster game for the Catamounts, hitting 11-of-12 shots from the floor and scoring 32 points. UVM hit 30-of-51 shots (58.8 percent) from the floor and outrebounded UML, 33-20.
Vermont scores 75.7 points per game and allows 69.8. They have moved ahead of UMBC in 3-point percentage, now hitting at a 41.1 percent clip. Duncan leads active Catamounts at 12.6 points per game, as sophomore forward and reigning AE Rookie of the Year Anthony Lamb (16.8 ppg) is out indefinitely with a foot injury. Senior guard Trae Bell-Haynes, the 2017 AE Player of the Year, averages 11.4 ppg and a team-high 4.0 assists per contest.
Series Record: Vermont has won 21 straight in the series, dating back to the 2007-08 season, when UMBC won all three meetings. The Catamounts lead, 30-4, overall and 14-1 at Patrick Gymnasium.
Last year's games were the most tightly-contested since UMBC's three victories a decade ago. Vermont won, 81-72, in Burlington in January and held off a furious rally to triumph, 77-74 in Baltimore a month later. Lyles averages 23.5 points per game in his two contests in Burlington.
Up Next: UMBC returns home on Sunday, then heads back out bright and early on Tuesday morning for a trek to Maine for a Wednesday evening January 10 match-up. The Retrievers stay in New England and will take on UMass Lowell on Saturday, Jan. 13.