UMBC youth shows in double-OT loss to Monmouth, 78-73

Senior-less Retrievers can't fend off Johnson, 2001 NEC champions

January 27, 2002|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

UMBC hadn't played a double-overtime basketball game in seven years before last night, and when it finally came, the result was heartbreaking for the Retrievers.

Somehow, Monmouth, the defending Northeast Conference champion, overcame a horrendous 10-for-35 night at the foul line and persevered for a 78-73 victory in an emotionally charged contest at RAC Arena.

The individual brilliance of Monmouth guard Rahsaan Johnson, the reigning NEC Player of the Year, was primarily responsible for the outcome, which avenged a three-point loss to the Retrievers two weeks ago.

Johnson scored a game-high 29 points and made almost every clutch play for the Hawks, who had lost three of their previous four in the league.

The former teammate of Steve Francis at Allegany Community College sent the game into overtime with a looping drive down the lane, scored or fed for all eight Monmouth points in the first overtime, then added eight more in the second overtime.

"We needed to beat a team. It felt like we hadn't won in weeks," Johnson said. "But it was a hard-fought battle. The win didn't come easy. Two overtimes tell you that."

The defeat was only the second in the past seven games for UMBC (10-7, 6-4).

Johnson was frustrated by his lack of offense against Retrievers freshman Rob Gogerty for much of regulation, but at crunch time, he was everywhere making plays.

"I took it as a challenge to go against the best player in the conference," Gogerty said. "He's definitely a big-timer with quick one-on-one moves. At the end, he kind of carried their team on his shoulders."

The experience of Johnson and fellow seniors Steve Bridgemohan (15 points, 13 rebounds) and Cameron Milton showed at the finish against UMBC's senior-less roster.

"It turned out that rebounding became more of a problem as the game went on," said UMBC coach Tom Sullivan. "We started giving them a lot of second shots, especially Bridgemohan. They had seniors, we had underclassmen, and that was the difference. It was two teams who really wanted it, a very entertaining game."

Monmouth (10-9, 6-4) was the preseason choice to repeat as NEC champion, but, like the Retrievers, the Hawks are chasing Central Connecticut.

"You don't usually win a lot of games shooting the way we did from the foul line," said Hawks coach Dave Calloway. "If we make 40 percent, we win going away. It was an emotional game, and sometimes that's what gets you going, winning one like this."

Gogerty had a career-high 17 points to lead the Retrievers. Peter Mulligan (7-for-20 from the floor) and Kareem Washington pitched in with 16 apiece.

Will McClurkin returned to the lineup after a two-game suspension for "conduct detrimental to the team" and had seven points and nine rebounds.

MONMOUTH-Krayl 2-6 0-2 5, Bridgemohan 7-10 1-7 15, Johnson 12-26 4-9 29, Milton 1-5 0-0 2, Owens 5-10 0-4 10, Kaplan 1-3 0-0 2, Hamilton 0-2 2-7 2, Byfield 2-55 3-5 9, Anderson 2-3 0-1 4. Totals 32-76 10-35 78. UMBC-Yates 1-5 5-7 7, Mulligan 7-20 1-2 16, Feeley 1-1 0-2 2, Washington 6-13 2-2 16, Gogerty 5-17 3-5 17, Wilson 0-1 0-0 0, Wallace 2-4 0-0 4, McClurkin 2-7 3-6 7, Williams 0-0 0-0 0, Young 0-0 4-4 4. Totals 24-68 18-28 73.

Halftime-Monmouth 31, UMBC 30. End of regulation-58-58. End of first overtime-66-66. 3-point goals-Monmouth 4-18 (Krayl 1-1, Johnson 1-7, Milton 0-1, Kaplan 0-1, Byfield 2-8), UMBC 7-27 (Yates 0-2, Mulligan 1-3, Washington 2-7, Gogerty 4-13, Wallace 0-2). Rebounds-Monmouth 54 (Bridgemohan 13), UMBC 55 (Mulligan 12). Assists-Monmouth 13 (Johnson 7), UMBC 12 (Mulligan 5). Total fouls-Monmouth 26, UMBC 31. Fouled out-Young, Milton, Owens, Yates, Bridgemohan, Gogerty. Technical fouls-None. A-1,382.

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