St. Francis (Pa.) takes down UMBC, 72-64

Retrievers lose 5th in row

Luckey scores 28 points

February 14, 2003|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

UMBC'S bid to make the Northeast Conference men's basketball tournament field absorbed another jolt last night when St. Francis (Pa.) scored a 72-64 victory, its first ever in the series in Baltimore.

Hampered by an injury-depleted bench, the lack of a true point guard and inadequate scoring punch, UMBC (6-16, 4-9 NEC) never overcame a strong start by the Red Flash and suffered its fifth straight defeat.

"They got out of the box quickly on us, and we didn't know which hole to plug," said Retrievers coach Tom Sullivan. "They have a lot of offensive potency, and we couldn't match it."

Baltimore's Darshan Luckey (Southern) poured in 28 points to pace St. Francis (11-10, 7-5), which starts four Maryland-born players. Luckey is the second leading freshman scorer in the country.

"I didn't shoot the ball particularly well," said Luckey, who was only 6-for-19 from the field. "Getting to the free-throw line [14 of 14] helped. But I thought I played all right. A lot of my family and friends showed up to support me."

The Retrievers are playing without their two point guards, Justin Wilson and Rob Gogerty, who both may be lost for the season after incurring major injuries in a game at Quinnipiac last Saturday. Wilson has a fractured tibia, and Gogerty has a severe ankle sprain. Both are using crutches.

Center Andrew Feeley also missed Tuesday's overtime loss at Mount St. Mary's because of a death in the family, but he returned last night to get 11 points and six rebounds in 23 minutes.

The personnel shortage has placed a heavy burden on UMBC's best player, Kareem Washington, who has been forced to the point guard spot and to carry the offense for long stretches. He scored 19 points before fouling out late.

The Retrievers had a shot after rallying from a 16-point deficit to pull within 57-51 with 4:03 left. But the Red Flash's Erick Wills blunted the comeback by hitting a wide-open three-pointer from the top of the key.

"This has been a difficult place for us over the years," said St. Francis coach Bobby Jones. "So I was proud of the way we started this game, showing a lot of patience against their zone. Then, Wills hit a huge shot that gave us life when they were chipping away."

ST. FRANCIS (PA.)-Luckey 6-19 14-14 28, Gibson 5-8 1-1 12, Osborne 2-6 0-0 4, Wills 3-8 6-11 14, Swoger 3-5 1-2 9, Saragba 1-2 0-0 2, Daley 1-1 0-0 2, Goodson 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 21-49 23-30 72.

UMBC-Zito 7-15 2-4 17, Hatcher 1-10 0-0 2, Young 3-3 3-4 9, Washington 8-20 3-3 19, Dinkins 0-2 0-0 0, Snyder 1-3 0-0 2, Williams 2-3 0-0 4, Feeley 4-5 3-4 11. Totals 26-61 11-15 64.

Half-St. Francis 36, UMBC 21. 3-point goals-St. Francis 7-16 (Luckey 2-8, Gibson 1-1, Wills 6-11, Swoger 1-2, Goodson 1-2), UMBC 1-10 (Zito 1-2, Hatcher 0-4, Washington 0-4). Rebounds-St. Francis 27 (Luckey 5), UMBC 44 (Zito, Hatcher 10). Assists-St. Francis 16 (Swoger 5), UMBC 15 (Washington, Snyder 4). Total fouls-St. Francis 19, UMBC 23. Fouled out-Washington, Saragba, Dinkins. Technical fouls-None. A-1,646.

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