BALTIMORE – Visiting Florida Gulf Coast caught fire midway through the first half and went on to a 76-53 victory over UMBC at the UMBC Event Center on Sunday evening.
The Eagles won their second consecutive game and improved to 4-8 on the year, while UMBC dropped its second straight and saw its record level off at 6-6.
UMBC graduate student forward Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) led his side with 14 points. He knocked down four treys and moved into fifth place on the school's all-time list with 232. Sherburne also moved into 11th place on the all-time scoring list with 1,258 points.
FGCU senior guard Schadrac Casimir and junior guard Decardo Day shared game scoring honors with Sherburne, each contributing 14 points.
Sherburne got UMBC off a good start, knocking down all three of his attempts from behind the arc to give the Retrievers an 11-3 lead 6:28 into the contest.
But the team went ice cold from that point on and FGCU, which misfired on eight of its first nine shots, connected on 13 of its final 17 of the half and gradually built a 40-26 halftime lead.
The Retrievers managed to convert only 9-of-35 shots (25.7 percent) in the first 20 minutes and were outrebounded, 28-12.
UMBC made a brief rally in the second half, opening the frame on a 7-2 run to slice the deficit to 44-33 after back-to-back driving layups by junior guard K.J. Jackson (Houston, Texas). The Retrievers had two opportunities to get within single digits, but committed a miscue and missed a jumper before FGCU connected on two long range shots to restore the margin to 17 points and effectively end the chances of a comeback.
FGCU knocked down 13-of-25 treys on the night (52 percent), while UMBC countered with 8-of-32. For the game, the Retrievers converted only 19-of-62 shots (30.6 percent) from the floor, while the Eagles topped the 50 percent mark (26-of-51, 51 percent).
Jackson was the only other Retriever to score in double figures, tallying 12 points and adding five assists.
The game marked the debut of sophomore forward Daniel Akin (London, England), who score four points and snared a team-high five caroms in 24 minutes. Akin missed the first 11 games, rehabbing from a knee injury suffered in the summer.
UMBC returns to action on Friday, Dec. 21, when they host Hood College. Tip-off time is slated for 1:00 p.m. Tickets are available at https://bit.ly/2GlS76D.