The UMBC men's basketball team (11-7, 2-1 America East) concludes its three-game road swing through New England on Saturday, Jan. 13 when the Retrievers face an explosive UMass Lowell River Hawk (6-9, 0-2 AE) at Tsongas Center in Lowell, Mass. Tip-off time is set for noon and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3.
Retriever Update: UMBC overcame shooting woes and gutted out a 72-67 victory at Maine on Wednesday evening. Graduate student guard Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) led five Retrievers in double figures with 16 points. Freshman post Daniel Akin (Eltham, England) keyed a late rally and recorded season highs with 11 points and seven rebounds.
The Retrievers improved to 11-7 overall and 2-1 in America East play and snapped a three-game road losing skid.
Lyles leads the Retrievers and America East in scoring (20.0 points per game) and steals (2.3 per game).
Sophomore forward Arkel Lamar (Bridgeport, Conn.) (13.3 ppg, team high 7.1 rpg) tied a season high with five treys vs. the Catamounts and is second in the league in treys made (47) and in 3-point field goal percentage (46.1). Maura (San Juan, P.R.) (10.9 ppg) also averages in double figures and leads the conference with 5.3 helpers per game.
UMBC is averaging 77.1 points per game (second in America East) and the Retrievers are converting 12.0 treys per game, still tops in the nation through games of Jan. 8. They are tied for second with 211 total 3-pt. field goals made.
A Glance at the River Hawks: UMass Lowell (6-9, 0-2 America East) raced out to a 5-1 start, but have dropped eight of their last nine and four in a row. The River Hawks have dropped their first two league games to Vermont, 88-77, and at Hartford, 84-73, the latter occurring on Wednesday. UML led, 67-66, with 7:31 remaining, but the Hawks late-game 9-1 run sparked their home victory. Josh Gantz led the visitors with 19 points, while senior do-it-all post Jahad Thomas scored 16 points and added eight assists and six caroms.
Thomas, an America East First Team performer, leads the River Hawks in scoring (19.0), rebounding (7.7) and assists (4.2). Senior guard Matt Harris (13.3 ppg) is another of four UML players in double figures and leads the squad with 38 treys made.
The River Hawks score 77.1 points per game, matching UMBC's output, but allow 79.0, last in the America East Conference. UML foes are shooting 49.8 percent from the field, also ninth in the league.
The Series: The River Hawks won the first six meetings before UMBC responded with two victories last season. The Retrievers topped the 100-point mark in both games, triumphing at Lowell, 102-86, in January, and winning a shoot-out, 108-102 at the RAC Arena the following month. The 108 points scored by UMBC was the fifth-most by a Retriever team at the NCAA Division I level (1986-87).
Today's game will be UMBC's first appearance at Tsongas Center – the previous three contests were played at Costello Arena.
Up Next: There is no rest for the weary. After five days on the road, UMBC travels back to Baltimore on Saturday night and faces an upstart Hartford squad on Monday, January 15. Tip-off time for the MLK, Jr. Day special is 6:00 p.m.