Delaware counters quick UMBC start

Retrievers take 14-2 lead, but Blue Hens gets tough on defense for 74-62 win

College Basketball

December 07, 2003|By Bo Smolka | Bo Smolka,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Delaware coach David Henderson refused to push the panic button as UMBC bolted to a 14-2 lead in the first nine minutes last night at the RAC Arena. Instead, he and the Blue Hens raised their defensive intensity, shutting down the Retrievers and pulling away for a 74-62 nonleague win.

John Zito led four Retrievers in double figures with 15 points and sparked UMBC with eight in the first seven minutes. But UMBC (2-2) watched its early lead vanish as the Retrievers went six minutes without a field goal late in the first half.

Delaware guard Mike Ames led all scorers with 24 points, and David Lunn, a McDonogh graduate, added 14 points and six rebounds. UMBC never led in the second half, and the Blue Hens (4-1) protected their lead with timely free throw shooting.

Ames helped the Blue Hens get on track after a frigid start in which they missed their first 11 shots from the floor. He sank a short jumper with 10:26 left in the half for his team's first field goal and hit a three-pointer to whittle UMBC's lead to 19-14.

Delaware took the lead for good with an 8-0 run that gave it a 27-22 lead in the final minute of the half.

"They stopped the flow of our offense," Zito said. "They pressured our guards, they tried to take away passing lanes, they fronted the post. They turned up the intensity."

"They kind of smacked us in the face at the beginning of the game," Lunn said. "Once we took their first punch, we decided we had to step it up and play a lot harder."

UMBC committed 15 turnovers after averaging nine in its first three games.

Delaware built its lead to as many as 14 points in the second half, hurting the Retrievers with inside-outside balance.

When UMBC stretched its defense against the Delaware guards, 6-foot-10 center Raphael Madera (9 points) and 6-foot-7 forward Robin Wentt accounted for eight straight Blue Hens points. Reserve Cory McJimson (12 points) cut Delaware's lead to 60-55 with 2:22 left, but Mike Slattery (16 points) and Lunn combined to make seven of eight free throws over the next minute.

"You want a 14-point lead with five minutes left, not five minutes into the game," UMBC coach Tom Sullivan said. "I knew once they came after us, whether we could weather the storm would be the key. We did at first, but then they turned the defense up to another level."

DELAWARE - Smith 0-4 0-0 0, Lunn 3-8 8-8 14, Madera 4-6 1-2 9, Slattery 2-4 11-16 16, Ames 8-13 4-4 24, Prothro 1-3 0-0 2, R. Washington 0-4 0-0 0, Courtney 0-0 0-0 0, Wentt 2-5 1-2 5, Olawoye 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 22-50 25-32 74. UMBC - Davis 3-10 2-2 8, Zito 6-11 3-9 15, Feeley 2-9 1-3 5, Gogerty 4-9 0-0 10, Pugh 0-2 0-0 0, K. Washington 3-8 2-2 10, McJimson 4-8 4-7 12, Housman 1-2 0-0 2, Young 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-59 12-23 62. Half: Delaware, 27-24. 3-Point goals-Delaware 5-10 (Lunn 0-1, Slattery 1-1, Ames 4-7, R. Washington 0-1 ), UMBC 4-7 (Dabvis 0-1, Gogerty 2-3, K. Washington 2-3). Rebounds-Delaware 21 (Smith 5), UMBC 23 (K. Washington 5). Assists-Delaware 11 (Slattery 6), UMBC 18 (Gogerty 5). Total fouls-Delaware 21, UMBC 23. Fouled out-Smith, K. Washington. A-1,322.

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