UMBC ends 9-game losing streak

Washington scores 27 in win over St. Francis

coach gets 250th victory

January 19, 2003|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Trying to avoid the longest losing streak in the eight-year tenure of head coach Tom Sullivan, UMBC last night put its fate against St. Francis (N.Y.) in the hands of guard Kareem Washington.

By game's end, it was the junior who had handed Sullivan a milestone victory.

Washington scored a career-high 27 points and tied a career best with eight rebounds as UMBC broke a nine-game losing streak and gave Sullivan his 250th career win in a 73-58 victory over the Terriers before 2,134 at RAC Arena.

"We needed it. We needed it for our confidence," said Washington, who had the bulk of his success slashing past screens. "I thought they were having a tough time getting over our screens. They weren't hedging it very well, so I just figured I could get all the way to the basket."

When he wasn't scoring, Washington was drawing fouls. The Retrievers (4-9 overall, 2-2 Northeast Conference), who entered the night shooting 66 percent from the line, hit 28 of 33 foul shots, outscoring St. Francis by 19 in free throws.

Sullivan said foul trouble in the Retrievers' frontcourt turned into an unlikely advantage.

"They weren't really taking advantage of [UMBC's small lineup] by getting the ball inside and scoring," Sullivan said. "We were able to run some screening action against them and create situations where there were mismatches. From there, the game kind of turned in our favor. They had to foul us."

The Retrievers dominated in spurts in the first half, grabbing a 9-0 lead at the outset, thanks to seven points by Washington. They then erased a four-point deficit by ending the half with an 11-0 run for a 32-25 lead at the break.

Trying to shoot over a packed-in zone, St. Francis (3-10, 0-4) missed all eight of its three-point attempts in the half, helping the Retrievers stay close despite going nearly six minutes without a basket during one stretch.

The Terriers finished 5-for-24 from beyond the arc.

Led by forward Cliff Strong (20 points), the Terriers, who are opening their season with 14 straight road games due to construction near their home arena, got as close as 34-33 early in the second half before the Retrievers pulled away with an 8-2 run, capped by Jerrell Dinkins' three-point play with 10:38 left.

UMBC's lead never dropped below five the rest of the way.

ST. FRANCIS - Strong 8-15 3-7 20, Sockwell 2-6 2-5 6, Wilson 6-17 0-0 15, Cavalieri 1-5 0-0 2, Hatcher 2-3 0-0 5, Quintana 1-7 2-2 4, Neckles 0-0 1-2 1, Brown 0-1 0-0 0, Herard 0-1 0-0 0, Thompson 2-3 1-2 5. Totals 22-58 9-18 58. UMBC - Hatcher 3-5 1-2 7, Feeley 1-3 2-2 4, Washington 8-20 8-10 27, Gogerty 3-7 2-2 8, Wilson 2-6 10-10 14, Dinkins 1-1 1-1 3, Zito 2-6 4-6 8, Williams 0-1 0-0 0, Young 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 21-50 28-33 73. Halftime - UMBC, 32-25. 3-point goals - St. Francis 5-24 (Strong 1-6, Wilson 3-12, Cavalieri 0-1, Hatcher 1-1, Quintana 0-3, Brown 0-1). UMBC 3-12 (Hatcher 0-2, Washington 3-5, Gogerty 0-2, Wilson 0-1, Zito 0-2). Rebounds - St. Francis 34 (Strong 12), UMBC 38 (Zito 9). Assists - St. Francis 13 (Quintana 5), UMBC 13 (Wilson 6). A - 2,134.

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