The UMBC men's basketball team (7-6) ventures to Happy Valley to take on Penn State (6-6) on Saturday, Dec. 29. An afternoon tip-off time is slated for 1:00 p.m., with Steve Jones and Dick Jerardi describing all the action on BTN-Plus ($).
Retriever Review: Sophomore forward Brandon Horvath (West River, Md./Southern) scored 19 points and graduate student forward Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) added 15 as UMBC (7-6) defeated Hood (Md.) College, 86-65, at the UMBC Event Center on Dec. 21. The win snapped a two-game slide and three-game home losing streak.
Sherburne stuffed the stat sheet with nine rebounds and six assists, while red-shirt junior forward Sam Schwietz (Frisco, Texas) corralled a career-high 12 rebounds to spark the Retrievers.
The eight-day break between games is the longest of the season for the Retrievers. The Retrievers have won two straight road games, are 4-3 away from the UMBC Event Center this season and 11-3 outside of Baltimore since Jan. 30 of last season.
UMBC currently leads America East in defense, allowing 66.2 points per game. The Retrievers are also first in turnover margin (3.92) and steals (8.15). They are 16th in the nation in total steals (106) and 19th in turnovers forced (17.3) per game.
Sherburne leads a balanced UMBC attack with 14.0 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 11.8 points per game, while Horvath checks in at 11.5 points and a team-best 5.7 caroms per contest.
A Glance at the Nittany Lions: Penn State has won or lost two straight one time each in a 6-6 start to the season. They are 4-1 at home, with the lone setback occurring vs. Indiana, a 64-62 decision on 4.
In their most recent outing, PSU dropped a 73-64 decision at Alabama on Dec. 21. Sophomore forward Trent Buttrick led the Lions with 13 points off the bench. Junior forward Lamar Stevens added 12, but misfired on 13 of 19 shots from the floor and all six shots from long range. PSU shot just 38.2 percent from the field in the game.
Stevens averages team highs in scoring (19.1) and rebounding (8.3). Freshman guard Rasir Bolton chips in at 13.8 points per game and leads PSU with 27 treys. The Nittany Lions force 15.3 miscues per game.
Series Record/Last Meeting: Penn State has won all three previous meetings, including a 58-42 win at the Bryce Jordan Center in December of 2009. UMBC was en route to a 4-26 campaign.
In the 1991-92 season, the two teams met twice, the first game in University Park and the second, at the Baltimore Arena (now Royal Farms Arena) in downtown Baltimore. UMBC dropped a narrow 81-77 decision as the Lions swept the two-game series.
Up Next: UMBC concludes the 2018 portion of the schedule on Monday, Dec. 31, when they host Centenary (N.J.) at UMBC Event Center. Tip-time is slated for 1:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN+, with Gary Stein, John Feinstein and Paul Mittermeier on the call.
Tickets are available at https://bit.ly/2AjQcdn