The stakes are high as the UMBC Retrievers (20-10, 11-4 America East) play the regular season finale at Hartford (18-11, 11-4 AE) on Tuesday, Feb. 27. Tip-off time is slated for 7:00 p.m. at Chase Family Arena and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3.
The winner of the contest will secure the No. 2 seed in the America East Playoffs and a second guaranteed home game should they advance in Saturday's quarter-final round.
Retriever Update: For the first time in 32 years of NCAA Division I play, UMBC has posted back-to-back 20-win seasons, as the Retrievers surged late past UMass Lowell, 83-75, on Saturday's Senior Day at the UMBC Event Center.
For the ninth consecutive time this season, the Retrievers posted a victory after suffering a setback and improved to 20-10 overall and 11-4 in America East play. It was a non-senior, junior forward Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) who led the way, posting his first double-double of the season with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
UMBC found the range from behind the arc, converting 12 of 24 attempts, besting the double-digit mark for treys for the first time in eight games.
Graduate student guard Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) added 16 points, six rebounds and six assists. He continues to lead America East in scoring at 20.6 points per game. Senior guard K.J. Maura (San Juan, P.R.) added 11 points, with six helpers and just one turnover and moved up to 17th nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.94). Senior guard Jourdan Grant (Bowie, Md./Archbishop Spalding) broke UMBC's school record by competing in his 123rd game and added nine points, including three treys.
A Glance at the Hawks: Hartford (18-11, 11-4 America East) has America East's longest winning streak at four straight and the Hawks have won seven of their last eight games. They were selected eighth by league coaches in the pre-season poll. UH has actually been a better road team than at home this year, winning 10 of 15 away from home and going 8-6 at Chase Family Arena.
Hartford rallied from a halftime deficit to defeat a desperate Binghamton squad, 67-57, on Saturday. Forward John Carroll had a monster game with 23 points and 15 rebounds.
Junior Carroll leads UH with 15.2 points and 6.4 caroms per game. Classmate and sharpshooter Jason Dunne (14.9 ppg) leads America East with 85 made treys.
The Series: The Hawks hold a 17-14 overall lead in the series, but UMBC has won two of the last three after a five-game winning streak by Hartford.
A year ago, at Chase Family Pavilion, UMBC triumphed, 84-68, snapping a five-game slide in West Hartford. Overall, Hartford has enjoyed great success over UMBC, capturing 10 of 14 meetings.
Up Next: UMBC will host either No. 6 New Hampshire or No. 7 UMass Lowell in the America East quarter-finals at the UMBC Event Center on Saturday, March 3. Tip-off time is set for 1:00 p.m