Dobie, LIU are on target vs. UMBC

Star's 19 points, 10 assists lead impressive display in 76-64 NEC victory

College Basketball

January 21, 2003|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

UMBC couldn't halt the Long Island express, either.

Two days after an impressive victory at Mount St. Mary's, the Blackbirds reaffirmed that they could be a force in the Northeast Conference title race last night, beating UMBC, 76-64, at RAC Arena.

With talented point guard Antawn Dobie healthy for the past two games after sitting out with a shoulder injury, the Blackbirds (5-9, 3-2 NEC) were much more precise and effective on offense than the Retrievers, who often struggled to score.

"They did a good job of finding the open shooter," UMBC coach Tom Sullivan said of LIU. "We knew where the threes were coming from, but unfortunately, we didn't cover them as well as we could have."

Much of that can be attributed to Dobie, an all-NEC performer who had 19 points, 10 assists and five rebounds, all slightly higher than his season averages.

"We've played the last two games with our entire starting lineup," said first-year Blackbirds coach Jim Ferry. "They've been two of the best we've played all year. We're starting to get better. And Antawn? He's special. ... I think the best player in the league."

LIU now returns to New York to play the same two Maryland opponents in only its fourth and fifth home games of the season.

The Retrievers have been hampered by injuries that have sapped an already thin bench. Basically, their rotation is down to six players since veterans Andre Williams and Eugene Young are nursing nagging health problems and playing only sparingly.

That situation has not helped the team sustain rallies, and Sullivan added that "every time we popped up our head, Long Island had someone there to not let us come back. And overall, this was not one of our more inspired performances."

UMBC (4-10, 2-3) last led at 6-4 before two consecutive buckets by Derek Bell (15 points, nine rebounds), the second on a feed from Dobie, put the Blackbirds ahead for good.

When Bell wasn't tormenting the Retrievers inside, graduate student Maurice Yearwood (16) and senior JaJa Bey (14 points) were hitting three-pointers.

"They were hitting a lot of open shots," said UMBC freshman P.J. Hatcher. "It was fast-paced and it got kind of frustrating."

UMBC, which started the season 3-0, had ended a nine-game losing streak Saturday against St. Francis (N.Y.) and scored 202 points in two victories over LIU last season.

But last night, a nine-point halftime deficit never shrank because the Retrievers simply couldn't find the basket often enough.

LONG ISLAND-Bell 5-7 5-7 15, Bey 5-9 2-2 14, Edwards 1-3 2-4 4, Dobie 8-20 1-2 19, Thomas 0-4 0-3 0, Williams 0-0 0-0 0, Yearwood 5-8 3-3 16, Gary 3-5 0-0 8, Taylor 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-56 13-21 76. UMBC-Hatcher 3-10 2-2 10, Feeley 6-9 0-0 12, Washington 7-17 2-2 19, Gogerty 0-6 0-0 0, Wilson 1-7 6-8 8, Dinkins 1-3 0-0 3, Snyder 0-0 0-0 0, Zito 1-4 5-6 7, Williams 0-1 0-0 0, Young 1-3 3-5 5. Totals 20-60 18-23 64. Half-Long Island, 40-31. 3-point goals-Long Island 9-18 (Bey 2-5, Dobie 2-5, Yearwood 3-6, Gary 2-2), UMBC 6-14 (Hatcher 2-4, Washington 3-5, Gogerty 0-1, Wilson 0-1, Dinkins 1-2, Zito 0-1). Fouled out-none. Rebounds-Long Island 40 (Bell 9), UMBC 38 (Washington 9). Assists-Long Island 17 (Dobie 10), UMBC 14 (Washington, Wilson 4). Total fouls-Long Island 18, UMBC 19. A-1,221.

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