The freshman center who got his first career start came in averaging just nine minutes a game. With the top scorer injured, the fourth-leading scorer knew someone had to fill in. And when overtime came last night, UMBC found yet another source.
Andrew Feeley's unfreshman-like performance, Will McClurkin's steady scoring and Ron Yates' takeover in overtime pushed the Retrievers past Northeast Conference foe Quinnipiac, 78-71, before 2,106 at RAC Arena.
Leading most of the way with a number of chances to put the game away, the Retrievers let senior-laden Quinnipiac stay close by shooting 14-for-31 from the foul line. But without injured sophomore guard Peter Mulligan (ankle) and his 15-point average and fellow starter Malik Wallace, the Retrievers found the necessary answers to bounce back from Saturday's loss at Robert Morris and improve to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in conference play.
With McClurkin's team-high 23 points and Feeley's 20-point, 15-rebound performance getting the Retrievers to overtime, Yates put Quinnipiac (2-4) away with seven straight points.
"The overtime, we had to say, `You have to dig down and go inside yourself, and you have to tough this out,' " said UMBC coach Tom Sullivan.
Feeley, battling Quinnipiac leading scorer Bill Romano, was able to tough it out from the start.
"Pete Mulligan was out, and someone had to step up so I figured, why not me? I had the opportunity to start and get minutes, so I just played hard all game, and we won," Feeley said.
With UMBC leading 64-62 early in overtime, the Retrievers looked to him inside, and he responded to push the lead to four. Then came the run from Yates: a three-pointer, a fast-break basket, and then a spin move in the lane for a 73-66 lead.
"Coach told us to stay in there, and if we just got some defensive stops, focus on our rebounding, that we knew we could score," said Yates, who finished with 15 points and six rebounds.
The Retrievers had a 39-32 lead early in the second half before Quinnipiac, behind a 23-point effort from Romano, chipped away and ended up taking a 62-61 lead on a basket from Jeremy Bishop with 33 seconds left in regulation.
UMBC guard Justin Wilson was sent to the line with 27 seconds left, making the first but missing the second to send the game into overtime.