UMBC scores first ECC win, 78-77

January 24, 1991|By Bill Free

It was like something out of the twilight zone.

All of a sudden last night, Jim Frantz started shooting jump shots like Larry Bird and the rest of the University of Maryland Baltimore County players followed his lead.

Frantz, who didn't start last night because of a severe shooting slump (11 for 41 for 26.8 percent) in the past four games, came off the bench with nine minutes gone in the game and went on a shooting tear that resulted in a career-high 23 points.

Frantz hit the first 11 shots he took from the field last night and carried UMBC to a 78-77 upset victory over Delaware in an East Coast Conference game before 1,265 at UMBC Fieldhouse.

The win ended a 14-game losing streak for UMBC (2-15, 1-3) and gave the Retrievers their first victory since joining the ECC this season.

Frantz not only hit most of the big shots from the field as the Retrievers rallied from a miserable start (down 22-5 in first 8 minutes, 30 seconds), but he hit the deciding free throw with five seconds on the clock.

Frantz hit the first of two free throws, giving the home team a 78-77 lead and that proved to be enough when Delaware's Kevin Blackhurst missed a long jumper just before the buzzer.

When UMBC coach Earl Hawkins was asked where Frantz discovered his jumper, he responded, "I think maybe being benched fired him up a little. I just felt that the last game we played (an 82-61 loss to Rider Saturday during which Frantz failed to score) the other kids played harder than he did."

Frantz, 6 feet 10 but content to stay outside last night and bomb away, had a lot of help from Derell Thompson (19), Brian Watkins (14) and Skip Saunders (12).

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