North Bimini, The Bahamas – UMBC freshman guard Jose Placer (Orlando, Fla.) scored a season-high 13 points, leading a balanced effort, as the Retrievers defeated High Point, 68-59, on Day Two of The Bimini Jam.
The Retrievers improved to 4-1 on the season, matching their best NCAA Division I start. UMBC also won four of the first five games in 2007-08 and 2016-17, head coach Ryan Odom's first season.
Odom's earned victory No. 50 (50-25) in his brief two-plus year tenure and is "fastest to 50" in school history by a resounding 40 games.
Three other Retrievers joined Placer in double figures and six players scored eight or more points. Sophomore forward Brandon Horvath (West River, Md./Southern) scored 11 points and added a team-best 7 rebounds.
Both teams played hard-fought games yesterday, with UMBC prevailing in double overtime and High Point rallying for a four-point win.
UMBC led, 27-25, at the break, then opened the second half on a 13-3 run to surge out to a 40-28 advantage at the 14:12 mark.
Placer scored 11 second half points and extended the lead to a game-high 19 points at 57-38 with a deep trey with 6:34 remaining.
The Panthers would rally and cut the deficit to 59-49 with 4:26 remaining, but junior forwards Arkel Lamar (Bridgeport, Conn.) and Max Curran (Hooksett, N.H.) each hit a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 14 and help seal the victory .
UMBC hit 12-of-22 shots from the floor in the second half and finished the game at 46.8 percent (22-of-47).
Lamar and Curran each tallied 10 points, graduate student forward Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) added 9 points and 4 assists, and junior guard K.J. Jackson (Houston, Texas) contributed 8 points, 5 assists and a pair of steals.
There were five lead changes and four ties in the first half. Sherburne hit treys to begin and end a 8-0 run which erased a 14-12 deficit and gave UMBC a 20-14 lead at the 7:50 mark. But High Point stormed back with an 11-4 surge and took a brief lead before UMBC junior forward Sam Schwietz (Frisco, Texas) hit a bucket and free throw on separate possessions to give the Retrievers a 27-25 halftime edge.
UMBC will conclude competition in the Bimini Jam on Monday at 8:30 p.m. when they take on South Dakota.