BALTIMORE – Visiting Stony Brook (12-17, 7-8 America East) scored the game's final eight points and stunned UMBC, 64-57, at the UMBC Event Center.
The loss snapped the Retrievers' three-game winning streak and dropped UMBC (19-10, 10-4 AE) into a second-place tie with Hartford. Each team has two games left, including a match-up in Hartford on the final game of the regular season (Feb. 27).
Graduate student guard Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) posted a double-double with 18 points and a game-high 10 caroms, but only converted 6-of-22 shots from the floor. As a team, UMBC shot poorly from the field (33.9 percent, 21-of-62), behind the arc (22.2 percent, 6-of-27) and at the charity stripe (56.3 percent, 9-of-16).
But, as they did on Sunday versus Albany, the Retrievers rallied from a double-digit deficit and pulled in front multiple times down the stretch. Senior guard K.J. Maura (San Juan, P.R.) was a force in the rally, scoring nine consecutive points and 11 in a 13-2 UMBC run which turned a 36-27 deficit into a 40-38 lead on freshman Daniel Akin's (Eltham, England) layup with 14:37 remaining.
There were 11 changes of the lead from the 12:40 mark until the Seawolves' final surge. Akin recorded UMBC's first dunk in the Event Center to give the hosts a 51-50 advantage with 5:02 remaining. Then, Maura gave the Retrievers leads of 55-54, with a driving layup, and 57-56 on a pair of free throws with just 1:16 remaining.
But SBU freshman Elijah Olaniyi went straight to the goal on the ensuing possession and finished to put his side ahead just 15 seconds later. Lyles attempted to get to the basket on the next two Retrievers chances, but was off the mark and the Seawolves snared the rebounds and converted two free throws on each occasion to seal the victory.
Stony Brook senior guard UC Iroegbu led all scorers with 20 points and he led the Seawolf charge from behind the arc by knocking down 4-of-6. SBU converted 9-of-20 from long range after coming into the game at just 33.2 percent from distance.
UMBC lost a game by a margin of 10 points or less for just the second time this season (9-2) and the first time since the fourth game of the season, a 93-88 loss at Colgate. .
Maura was the other Retriever in double figures with 15 points and he added four assists. He tied a school record by sinking all three of his free throws and moving his streak up to 31 in a row. That ties a mark set by Will Darley a season ago.
UMBC can still secure no worse than a No. 3 seed in the America East playoffs with a win on Senior Day on Saturday. The Retrievers take on a UMass Lowell side, which has won two straight, in a 1:00 p.m contest.