Bucknell University, beset by some of the problems that have hurt the University of Maryland Baltimore County, put away the Retrievers in the last 10 minutes at the UMBC Fieldhouse last night, winding up with a 79-64 victory.
It was the eighth straight loss for the Retrievers (1-9).
This one was not pretty for either team, although both played reasonably tough defense. Neither shot the ball well, but Bucknell, sparked by Bill Courtney and Pat King, had a 52-41 rebound margin.
UMBC, down by as many as 10 points, got within 53-51 on a layup by Spencer Ferguson with 10 minutes left, but the Bison, with five different players contributing, went on a 10-2 run, and the gap did not dip below eight the rest of the way.
Bucknell (7-3) had much the better of it at the foul line, making 32 of 40. The Retrievers made five more baskets, but finished 8-for-13 at the line.
Despite watching the losing streak continue, UMBC coach Earl Hawkins saw some positives.
"We played hard against a good, disciplined team," he said. "There were some spurts where we forgot what to do, and times when we were not intense or physical enough, but there were some bright spots."
Bucknell coach Charlie Woollum sounded much the same. "We were sporadic," he said. "We were playing well before Christmas, but since that layoff, we have been out of sync.
"I thought we played hard on defense and that helped us. And we probably rebounded better than it looked."
Courtney, a junior, led the winners with 21 points. King, also a junior and vastly improved since walking onto the junior varsity team as a freshman, and sophomore Mike Bright added 18 apiece.
For the Retrievers, who go on the road against Loyola-Ill., Maryland, Kansas and Bucknell, Derell Thompson had 13 points and Jim Frantz 12, and they shared rebound honors with seven.
NOTES: Bucknell had not played in three weeks when it lost at Cornell last Saturday night, 93-85. . . . The visitors, 75 percent foul shooters on the season, made their first 11 in a row, had 13-of-17 for the half, and 19-for-23 in the second half. . . . The Retrievers were without two regulars, senior G Bobby Mills and senior F Derrick Reid. Mills missed his third straight game because of an ankle injury, and Reid has been bothered by a viral infection the past two weeks. He is out of the hospital, but his condition will not be re-evaluated until next week. . . . The UMBC lineup was the fifth different alignment in 10 games. A year ago, Hawkins used just four different lineups in 28 games. . . . The Bison will stay over and play at Towson State tomorrow night.