PHILADELPHIA – UMBC junior guard K.J. Jackson (Houston, Texas) scored 27 of his career high 31 points in the final 20 minutes as the visiting Retrievers rallied to knock off Drexel, 91-76, at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.
UMBC won its second straight game on the road this week and improved to 6-4 on the season, while Drexel fell to 5-5.
Jackson got to the basket at will in the second half, hitting 11 of his 13 shots from the floor. He finished 13-of-17 for the game to score a Retriever season high.
UMBC trailed, 62-57, with 12:10 remaining, when a short jumper and a trey by junior forward Arkel Lamar (Bridgeport, Conn.) tied the game and started a pivotal 19-2 surge. Jackson gave the Retrievers the lead for good on a driving layup at the 10:35 mark and scored nine points during the run.
The Dragons only sliced the gap inside double figures once in the final stages of the game, at 80-72, with 2:33 remaining, but Jackson hit successive field goals to seal the victory.
Four other Retrievers scored in double figures. Lamar scored 10 of his 15 points in the 56-point second half. Graduate student forward Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) and junior guard Ricky Council (Durham, N.C.) recorded 11 points each, while junior forward Max Curran (Hooksett, N.H.) added 10 points.
Drexel senior guard Troy Harper led his side with 22 points, but only scored 5 after the break.
For the second consecutive game, the Retrievers hit better than 60 percent from the floor in the second half. UMBC hit its first eight shots from the floor in the second half and converted 22-of-32 in the final 20 minutes. The Retrievers finished at a season-best 60.3 percent (35-of-56) from the floor overall and made 10-of-23 treys and 11-of-13 free throws.
The Retrievers scored 25 points in the first 10:55 of the game, taking a 25-16 lead on Lamar's put-back. But the Dragons, who entered the game averaging nearly 82 points per game, outscored UMBC, 27-10, over the final 6:32 of the frame to take a 43-35 lead at the half.
UMBC committed 11 first half turnovers, and the Dragons hit 16-of-31 first half field goal attempts to key the rally. Harper scored 17 first half points to lead all scorers.
The Retrievers only turned the ball over twice in the second half.
UMBC returns to Baltimore and will face local rival Towson at the UMBC Event Center on Tuesday, Dec. 11. Tip-off is slated for 7:00 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at https://bit.ly/2UpfaQP.
Notes: The win was UMBC's first in three games all-time at Drexel and improved to 3-5 in eight meetings… Sherburne moved into 13th place on UMBC's all-time scoring list with 1,230 points… Council made all four field goal attempts and has swished six consecutive treys in the last two games.