The UMBC men's basketball team (6-6) hopes to snap a two-game slide when they take on the Hood (Md.) College Blazers (7-4) on Friday, Dec. 21. An afternoon tip-off time is slated for 1:00 p.m., with Gary Stein, John Feinstein and Paul Mittermeier describing all the action on ESPN3.
Tickets are available at https://bit.ly/2A63euK.
Retriever Review: 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. 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.
FGCU knocked down 13-of-25 treys on the night (52 percent), while UMBC countered with 8-of-32.
UMBC has dropped three consecutive home games for the first time in Ryan Odom's tenure. The Retrievers lost six straight at home in the 2015-16 season. The setbacks to American and Towson occurred when players knocked down treys on their final field goal attempts of the game. The Retrievers attempted 72 treys, making only 19 (26.4 percent) in losses to Towson and FGCU. UMBC is 12th nationally in treys attempted (330, 27.5 per game)
Since Jan. 31 of last season, UMBC is 11-3 away from home and 5-5 in ten games at the UMBC Event Center.
UMBC currently leads America East in defense, allowing 66.3 points per game. The Retrievers are also first in turnover margin (4.17) and steals (8.33). They are 16th in the nation in total steals (100), 19th in turnovers forced (17.7) per game.
Graduate student forward Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) leads a balanced UMBC attack with 13.9 points per game and is third in America East in shooting at 52.4 percent from the floor. Junior guard K.J. Jackson (Houston, Texas) averages 12.0 points per game and is one of the nation's leaders in steals (28, 9th).
A Glance at the Blazers: Hood opened the season at 6-1 in November, but have dropped three of the last four games to fall to 7-4 overall and 2-3 in Middle Atlantic Conference play.
Hood played neighbor Mount St. Mary's in an exhibition on Nov. 5 and dropped a narrow 87-81 decision. Today's game will also count as an exhibiiton for the Blazers. HU sophomore guard Anthony Pearson scored 26 points and added nine rebounds against the Mount.
Pearson earned All-Tournament team honors at the Battle of DC & Maryland tournament at Gallaudet University and averages 12.8 points per game.
Backcourt mate Mason Wang checks in with a team-best 19.2 points per game. Wang is knocking down 55.6 percent of his shots from the floor and 47.8 percent from long range. He was named MVP in Battle of DC & Maryland at Gallaudet University. Wang scored 23 points to lead the Blazers in Saturday's loss at Lebanon Valley, hitting 6 of 12 field goals and dishing out four assists. He went 10 of 10 at the free throw line.
LVC hit 8-of-10 shots from behind the arc versus Hood to rally from a one-point halftime deficit.
The Blazers average 81.8 points per game.
Series Record/Last Meeting: UMBC tied a school record by converting 17 3-point field goals as the Retrievers cruised to a 92-61 victory over Hood (Md.) College in the debut of head coach Ryan Odom on Nov. 11, 2016.
The game was the first between the Retrievers and Blazers.
Hood senior guard Jared Ruiz started and scored eight points.
Up Next: UMBC has its longest break of the season before heading to University Park, Pa. to take on Penn State on Saturday, Dec. 29. Tip-off time is slated for 1:00 p.m. with the broadcast on BTN+.