UMBC breathes easier after 78-54 win

Retrievers' morale gets boost with dominating victory over Hartford

College Basketball

January 11, 2004|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

A hunger for victory and a hurting Hartford team proved a winning formula for the UMBC men's basketball team last night.

After losing five of their previous six games, the Retrievers launched a three-game home stand in upscale style, routing Hartford, 78-54, in an America East Conference matchup before 2,010 at RAC Arena.

The winning margin was the greatest for a UMBC team in nearly four years -- since a 77-49 romp over Sacred Heart in 2000.

"We were hanging in the balance," said Retrievers guard Kareem Washington.

"Another one in the loss column and the team starts to doubt itself. If we had won by three, we could have been happy. But with a blowout win, you can really sleep well."

Washington has been coming off the bench this season, and this time he came off shooting on target.

With Hartford (4-7, 0-3) holding its final lead at 12-11, the senior sparked the Retrievers on an 11-0 surge with nine points, including two three-pointers. The Hawks never recovered from that salvo.

"I thought we were more aggressive. We looked to shoot and looked comfortable doing it," said UMBC coach Tom Sullivan. "And we defended the middle much more with Eugene Young. All our players were playing off him."

Hartford had a ton of problems. Two of its big men, 6-foot-9 Trevor Goode and 6-9 Bernard Lowndes, were absent from what amounted to a seven-man rotation because of asthma and a thumb injury, respectively.

And guard Ryan Stys, a senior, leading scorer and the team's glue, was in early foul trouble and never factored in the flow.

In its first-ever meeting with the Hawks, UMBC (5-8, 2-2) shot almost 51 percent from the field and received 23 points from Washington and 21 from John Zito, a career high.

Bo Taylor led Hartford with 18 points and nine rebounds off the bench.

"We don't see one dominant team in this league," Washington said of the America East, which UMBC joined for this season. "We see this thing as going to whoever wants to grab it."

Added Sullivan: "Tonight, we played to exert ourselves instead of reacting to the other team."

HARTFORD--Regan 0-0 1-4 1, Zimnickas 6-9 1-6 13, Cook 3-15 4-6 12, Ford 2-6 0-1 5, Stys 0-3 0-0 0, Baker 0-5 5-6 5, Dodge 0-0 0-0 0, Taylor 6-10 5-7 18. Totals 17-48 16-30 54. UMBC--Davis 3-3 1-1 7, Zito 8-12 2-2 21, Feeley 0-1 0-0 0, Gogerty 5-12 2-2 12, Pugh 0-2 1-2 1, Washington 7-14 5-6 23, Fisk 0-2 0-0 0, Dinkins 1-2 0-0 2, McJimson 4-7 1-2 10, Feckoua 0-1 0-0 0, Housman 1-1 0-0 2, Young 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 29-57 12-17 78. Half--UMBC, 37-20. 3-point goals--Hartford 4-18 (Cook 2-11, Ford 1-2, Stys 0-1, Baker 0-3, Taylor 1-1), UMBC 8-24 (Zito 3-5, Gogerty 0-3, Pugh 0-1, Washington 4-11, Fisk 0-2, Dinkins 0-1, McJimson 1-1). Rebounds--Hartford 31 (Taylor 9), UMBC 38 (Davis, Young 6). Assists--Hartford 9 (Baker 7), UMBC 21 (Gogerty 6). Total fouls--Hartford 18, UMBC 24. Fouled out--Stys, Davis, Regan. Technical fouls--UMBC bench. A--2,010.

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