Owens Drills Game-Winner; UMBC Completes 65-61 Comeback Win at Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday

Photo: Ian Feldmann
Photo: Ian Feldmann

Ft. Myers, Fla.-- Sophomore L.J. Owens (Annapolis, Md./Severn School/William & Mary) provided the heroics, hitting a late-game three with 17 seconds left to lift UMBC to a big 65-61 win against Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday. Owens finished with a career-high 21 points. Junior Darnell Rogers (Baltimore, Md./Indian Land (SC)/New Mexico JC) also finished with 21 points, setting a new career-high as well.

UMBC moves to 2-0 on the year, while the Eagles fall to 0-2. 

After trailing by ten at halftime, the Retrievers found their footing on both ends of the floor. UMBC continued to chip away at the lead, using a quick 4-0 spurt from Owens and Keondre Kennedy (Atlanta, Ga.) to cut it to six. 

UMBC would get the deficit to one after a 9-0 run late. After a bucket by the Eagles, Rogers responded with a driving layup to get it back to one. 

Following a big defensive stop, Owens got the ball with the shot clock winding down and drilled a three from the wing to give UMBC their first lead since the first half. The Retrievers would stop the Eagles and hit a pair of free throws to seal a 65-61 win on Saturday. UMBC ended the game on a 16-2 run, spanning the final 4:52 of the game.

Owens finished with a career-best 21 points on 6-13 shooting. Rogers added 21 points to set his own career-high. Kennedy chipped in 10 points in the win adding six rebounds. 

Caleb Catto led the Eagles with 15 points, as UMBC held FGCU to just 20 points and six field goals in the second half. 

The Retrievers jumped out in front early, holding the lead for a majority of the first half. UMBC used a 6-0 run over a three-minute stretch to take a six-point lead. However, the Eagles would battle back to tie it, but a Darnell Rogers jumper return the lead to the Retrievers at the under 12 timeout.

From there, FGCU would rattle off a 9-0 run to take their first lead, and use another 7-0 run to give them their largest lead of the half at 34-24. UMBC would go just two for their last 13 to end the half trailing 41-31. L.J. Owens led the Retrievers with 11 points at the break, with Rogers chipping in 10 points with UMBC shooting 40 percent from the floor.

The Retrievers will return home to take on St. Mary's Maryland on Wednesday, Nov. 13. Tip-off with the Seahawks is set for 12 p.m. at the UMBC Event Center. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com.