UMBC falls to C. Carolina, 91-73 Cold shooting again dooms Retrievers

February 09, 1993|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Contributing Writer

The burning question last night at UMBC Fieldhouse was: Which team would show up to play visiting Coastal Carolina?

Would it be the team that shot well over 50 percent from the field in two recent wins over Winthrop, or the one that barely could find the rim in losses to Campbell and Towson State?

The answer proved to be a little of both in UMBC's 91-73 loss to the Chanticleers.

After shooting just 36 percent in the first half, and finding themselves down by 13 at the break, the Retrievers heated up, nailing seven of their first 10 shots to open the second half.

But the scoring spurt proved too little, too late, as they could pull no closer than 10 down the stretch.

The defeat was UMBC's worst in its last 26 home games, dating to the 1990-91 season.

"I can't think of anything positive I can say," said UMBC coach Earl Hawkins, whose team lost to the Chanticleers, 115-98, in mid-January. "The guys really wanted to come out here and play better. I thought they were really up for this. Maybe they wanted it too much."

The loss was the third in four games, and 11th in the past 15 for UMBC, which dropped to 7-12 and 4-6 in the Big South Conference. They dropped to seventh place in the league, a game behind Winthrop, which beat Liberty, 61-58.

Forward Tony Dunkin paced Coastal Carolina (12-9, 6-4), scoring a game-high 28 points, despite being double-teamed at times. The three-time Big South Player of the Year was most effective from the perimeter, sinking four three-pointers.

"We just tried to push the ball and keep [UMBC] off balance," said Dunkin, who has scored 57 points in two games this season against the Retrievers. "We just came down and took the open shots."

Coastal Carolina coach Russ Bergman also credited his defense with making several key adjustments to prevent a replay of UMBC's 98-point performance in the teams' last meeting.

Hawkins, however, felt otherwise.

"It was more our offense than their defense," he said. "We had our chances [13 offensive rebounds], but we just didn't concentrate under the basket."

Brian Watkins led UMBC with 21 points, and Skip Saunders added 14.

The Chanticleers jumped out to an 11-3 lead in the first 2:27, with guard Keke Hicks scoring on a 15-footer and three-point basket.

Hicks scored 12 for the half.

But after the Retrievers clawed back into it, on a pair of three-pointers by Saunders to make it 16-14, it was Dunkin who stepped to the forefront.

The senior standout hit four three-point baskets, scoring 14 points in a span of 7:36, to help his team to a 34-23 lead. Dunkin led all scorers at the half with 16 points on six-of-nine shooting.

Coastal Carolina hit 11 of its first 14 shots.

As hot as the Chanticleers were, the Retrievers were just as cold.

After missing four of their first five shots, two on blocks off Soni Nixon layup attempts, they went on to shoot just 38 percent for the half, making just three of their last 14.

It also missed 10 of its last 14 free throws in the half.

The only bright spot was Saunders. After averaging 20.6 points in his past five games, the 6-foot guard picked up where he left off, hitting three of five three-point attempts and 11 points in the half.

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