UMBC gets the message in 89-78 loss COLLEGE BASKETBALL

November 16, 1991|By Kent Baker

If last night's final exhibition game proved anything to the University of Maryland Baltimore County basketball team, it is that there is a lot of polishing left to do.

The touring Spartak team from the Russian proved that, taking command in the final 9 minutes to score an 89-78 victory at the UMBC Fieldhouse.

"We haven't been able to practice as a unit [because of injuries]," UMBC coach Earl Hawkins said. "We're certainly not in the condition we want to be yet."

The Russians' precision passing, superior rebounding (47-28) and outside shooting were too much for the Retrievers. UMBC was missing three key players: point guard Spencer Ferguson, and inside men Dion Andrews and Kevin Bellinger.

"It was a very tough team for us to play," Hawkins said. "They were looking for everything outside. But we were better than last week. We had more patience than before."

UMBC lost its first preseason game, 118-103, to a six-man Maryland All-Star team a week earlier despite newcomer Soni Nixon's 40 points and 13 rebounds. Nixon also led the Retrievers last night with 20 points.

After trailing last night by 47-41 at the half, the Retrievers rallied into a 49-49 tie with the aid of their press. They went ahead by three points during a helter-skelter sequence dotted by turnovers and fouls.

But the visitors regained control of the tempo and UMBC's shooting touch soured. A three-pointer by Andrei Harchincky gave Spartak an 82-72 lead with less than three minutes left.

Oleg Bulantsev finished with 24 points and 17 rebounds for the Russians, who had lost at Fairleigh Dickinson, 85-72, two nights earlier.

"The only good thing about this is it doesn't go on the loss side," said Hawkins.

SPARTAK (89) -- Oschetko 0-0 0-0 0, Vatnzhok 5-10 3-3 15, Bulantsev 11-15 2-2 24, Tudzyrey 4-7 6-6 15, Bogdanov 0-0 0-0 0, Molchanov 4-10 4-6 14, Harchincky 5-6 0-3 11, Gerasimov 2-4 2-4 6, Djiachkov 1-1 2-2 4. Totals 32-53 19-27 89.

UMBC (78) -- D.Thompson 7-16 2-2 18, Watkins 6-10 3-4 15, Nixon 8-17 4-6 20, Harris 1-3 0-0 2, Saunders 3-7 0-0 7, Wright 5-12 2-4 13, Swann 1-5 0-0 2, Franklin 0-1 0-0 0, Walker 0-0 0-0 0, Fasaye 0-2 1-3 1, C.Thompson 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 31-75 12-19 78.

Halftime--Spartak, 47-41. Three-point goals--S 6-18 (Vatnzhok 2-6, Molchanov 2-5, Pudzyrey 1-3, Harchincky 1-2, Gerasimov 0-2); UMBC 4-14 (D.Thompson 2-5, Saunders 1-4, Wright 1-4, Swann 0-1). Rebounds--S 47 (Bulantsev 17); UMBC 28 (Nixon 5). Assists--S 22 (Pudzyrey 8); UMBC 14 (Harris 5). Total fouls--S 22, UMBC 22. Fouled out--Oschetko. Technicals--none. A--921.

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