BALTIMORE – UMBC graduate student forward Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) led three Retrievers in double figures with 22 points as UMBC hit 60 percent from the floor in the second half and defeated host Coppin State, 71-60, in the Eagles' home opener.
Junior guard Ricky Council (Durham, N.C.) added a season-best 14 points and freshman guard R.J. Eytle-Rock (London, England) tallied a season-best 12 points in his first collegiate start as UMBC (5-4) snapped a three-game slide.
Council opened the second half with a trey to erase a 32-30 halftime deficit, starting a 13-4 run, which gave the visitors a 43-36 lead with 15:34 remaining.
The Retrievers would extend the margin to 55-40 at the 11:04 mark, before the hosts reeled off 11 straight points to slice the margin to 55-51 with six minutes remaining.
On the following UMBC possession, junior guard K.J. Jackson (Houston, Texas) committed a turnover, but hustled back to re-steal the ball and fed Council for a dunk to restore a six-point UMBC lead.
The Retrievers got stops on the next two CSU possessions and Sherburne hit a jumper and a driving layup to give UMBC a 61-51 lead with 4:22 remaining and the Eagles would not come within a three-possession game down the stretch.
UMBC converted 15-of-25 second half shots and knocked down 6-of-14 from behind the arc. They finished at 47.2 percent for the game.
Conversely, the Retriever defense held CSU to 9-of-27 shooting in the final 20 minutes and 36.7 percent for the game. UMBC also forced 15 Eagle miscues and outscored the hosts, 27-12 off of turnovers.
Sherburne, who hit 8-of-10 shots in the last game at Northern Kentucky, converted 7-of-9, including 4-of-5 from long range. He also buried all four free throw attempts and added four assists.
The Academic All-American moved into sixth place on UMBC's all-time list for treys at 225 and become the 14th player in school history to reach 1,200 points (1,219) in his career.
The Retrievers fell behind, 13-5, at the 15:53 mark and misfired on 8 of their first 9 as attempts from behind the arc. But treys by Jackson and Sherburne and a field goal by R.J. Eytle-Rock tied the score at 13-all just shy of the midpoint of the half.
UMBC would take two first half leads, but failed to score in the final two minutes of the half and went to the break trailing, 32-30.
The Retrievers converted only 10-of-28 shots from the floor (35.7 percent) and were outrebounded by the hosts, 20-13, in the first 20 minutes. Coppin State also took advantage at the line, hitting 10-of-13, while the visitors sunk 5-of-5.
But Council scored 11 of his 14 points after halftime, hitting all three shots from long range.
UMBC concludes the season-long three-game road trip on Saturday at Drexel. Tip-off time is slated for 2:00 p.m.