Strong 2nd half rallies UMBC over Washington

November 28, 1993|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Contributing Writer

UMBC struggled at the start of its season opener last night. The Retrievers came out cold, and Washington College scored 11 of the game's first 13 points.

The start of the second half, however, was a different story.

Spencer Ferguson made five steals in the first six minutes of the second half and scored nine of his 14 points, as UMBC scored 20 of the first 27 and went on to defeat Washington College, 90-71, at the UMBC Fieldhouse.

The Retrievers broke the game open with a 15-4 run in the early minutes of the second half, and Ferguson's steals set up most of the those points.

After Sonique Nixon (14 points, 16 rebounds) made a jumper to give UMBC a 47-45 lead with 18:56 left, Ferguson made a steal and drove for a layup 12 seconds later. Jerry Davis then made a jumper for Washington College (2-2).

Kevin Bellinger made a layup for a four-point UMBC lead. Ferguson then made another steal and drove for a layup and a 53-47 lead.

A basket by Nixon stretched the lead to eight before Ferguson stole another one and went the length of the court for an uncontested layup. He added a free throw to complete the three-point play and stretch the lead to 58-47.

BTC One more steal from Ferguson resulted in another layup, giving UMBC its biggest lead of the game, 60-47 with 15:22 remaining.

Ferguson, who missed the final 14 minutes due to illness, made all four of his shots during that stretch. UMBC made nine of its first 11 from the field, taking a 63-50 lead and control of the game.

Washington College did a good job of keeping the pace slow in the first half. The Retrievers rarely could run and never seemed to get going.

UMBC turned up the heat in the second half, playing tougher defense and doing a better job on the boards. The steals let the Retrievers take a bigger lead and forced the Shoremen to get away from the slow-down offense. UMBC, however, had to overcome 30 turnovers, 18 in the second half.

The Retrievers also kept Jay Devlin quiet. The 6-foot-6 starting forward scored 17 in the first half for the Shoremen, including three three-pointers.

Devlin scored four in the second half, hitting one of seven from the field, but scoring a game-high 21. Charles Cummings (St. Paul's) scored 16 and Geoff Rupert added 14, but the Shoremen shot 26 percent (10 of 39) from the field in the second half.

Five UMBC players scored in double figures. Eric Wyatt came off the bench to lead the way with 16 points, 14 in the second half. Bellinger added 13, while Artie Walker scored 11.

UMBC struggled on offense at times in the first half, which ended in a 43-43 tie. The Retrievers suffered through several cold stretches and had 12 turnovers.

Devlin scored the Shoremen's first five points, as they took advantage of five UMBC turnovers in the first five minutes for an 11-2 lead.

UMBC rallied with some help from its bench. Walker scored eight (and grabbed five rebounds) and Bellinger added six to help the Retrievers climb back into the game.

The Retrievers twice took three-point leads late in the half. But the Shoremen rallied, scoring five of the last seven points to tie the game at 43.

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