The UMBC Retrievers (16-9, 7-3 America East) face a tough week on the road as they compete at Binghamton (10-15, 1-9 AE) and New Hampshire in a four-day span before entering their second bye of the league season. UMBC faces the Bearcats at the BU Events Center on Thursday, Feb. 8 with tip-off time slated for 7:00 p.m. The broadcast of the game is available via ESPN3.
Retriever Update: The UMBC men's basketball team opened a new era of Retriever athletics and campus activities as a sell-out, UMBC record crowd of 4,753 witnessed the opening of the UMBC Event Center on Saturday, Feb. 3.
UMBC battled America East Conference giant Vermont on nearly even terms for 20 minutes, but the Catamounts were brilliant on both ends of the floor in the second half and prevailed, 81-53.
The Retrievers saw their three-game winning streak halted, while Vermont (19-5, 9-0 AE) won for the 30th straight time in league regular season play.
UMBC graduate student guard Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md./De Matha) continued his torrid play, scoring a game-high 27 points. Lyles moved into a tie for fifth place on the Retrievers' all-time scoring list –he now shares that position with Reggie Nance (1977-81), who finished his NCAA Division II career at UMBC with 1,558 points.
Lyles, paces the Retrievers and America East in scoring (21.5 points per game) and is also in the top ten in seven other America East statistical categories. He has moved up to 19th nationally in points per game.
Senior guard K.J. Maura (San Juan, P.R.) (10.0 ppg) leads the conference with 5.2 helpers per game and is ranked 24th nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.92). Sophomore forward Arkel Lamar (Bridgeport, Conn.) (12.1 ppg) and junior forward Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) (10.3 ppg) also average in double figures.
As of Feb. 7, UMBC is now 11th in the nation in treys per game (10.9) and 8th in total 3-pt. field goals made (272). UMBC is also 46th in total assists (389) and 27th in total steals (190).
A Glance at the Bearcats: After posting a 9-6 non-conference mark, the Bearcats have dropped nine of 10 America East games, including six in a row.
Binghamton (10-15, 1-9 AE) is still outscoring their foes, 71.0-70.4, and is outshooting them, 45.4 percent to 44.8 percent. But in league play, Binghamton is shooting 40.6 percent from the floor and 31.0 percent from beyond the arc.
The Bearcats outscored Maine, 21-3, in second chance points and rallied to send Saturday's game into overtime, but the Bearcats suffered a 81-79 setback. Junior guard J.C. Show led the way with 20 points and classmate post Thomas Bruce added 18 points and 13 caroms. Binghamton attempted 40 treys in the game, knocking down 13.
Show leads Binghamton with 14.3 points per game and has buried 64 treys. Bruce averages 11.5 ppg and 8.6 rpg (2nd in AE) and leads America East in blocked shots (2.4) per outing.
The Series: UMBC won its fourth straight and evened the series at 15-all with a 69-57 victory in late January at the RAC Arena. The Retrievers have captured four of the last five games at the BU Events Center, but the Bearcats have taken 10 of the 15 meetings overall in Vestal.
Up Next: The Retrievers return home briefly, then travel on Saturday to play at UNH on Sunday afternoon.