Boston U. turns back UMBC, 59-55

Terriers' missed foul shots at end keep game close

January 15, 2004|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

UMBC met another top America East Conference team last night and again learned it doesn't have far to progress.

Although they never led against co-league leader Boston University, the host Retrievers took the issue to the final whistle before absorbing a 59-55 defeat at the RAC Center.

Boston (11-3, 5-0 America East) won its 11th straight game, including a memorable one-point victory at Michigan, and remained tied with Vermont atop the league standings.

It appeared that the win in a matchup of the conference's two best defensive teams would be a formality, but the Terriers kept allowing UMBC to hang around by missing free throws down the stretch.

In the final 1:42, Boston botched seven straight foul shots. But -- as had been the case most of the night-- UMBC (5-9, 2-3) couldn't get some key shots to fall.

"We knew both teams played good defense. What I didn't anticipate was that our offense would stagnate so much in the initial stages," said Retrievers coach Tom Sullivan. "We were taking some bad shots and trying to beat the shot clock. They kept the pressure on us, then we had to claw our way back in."

After trailing by 10 at halftime, the Retrievers applied some distinctive defense of their own, and with freshman Chris Pugh (11 points, seven rebounds) scoring six quick points, the margin began to shrivel.

Another basket by Pugh on a fast break, with Rob Gogerty assisting, trimmed the Terriers` edge to 40-39 and UMBC had a chance to take the lead on its next possession. But Eugene Young was called for an offensive foul, nullifying his basket, and the well-disciplined Terriers regained their poise and control of the game.

UMBC hit only three of 23 three-point attempts and shot 32 percent overall. The Retrievers, though, have played tough against Vermont and Boston.

"They had a lot of ball pressure and wouldn't let us start our offense where we wanted," point guard Pugh said of the Terriers. "We were letting them get to us the first half. But we feel we can play with these [top] teams. We'd feel a lot better if we beat them."

BOSTON UNIVERSITY -- Bell 4-10 4-8 12, Wynn 103 0-0 2, Butt 2-7 2-4 6, Fitzgerald 2-2 2-7 7, Carr 2-9 5-5 9, Martin 0-1 0-0 0, Brower 1-2 4-4 6, Grochowalski 4-7 3-3 12, Gardner 1-2 2-3 4, Turner 0-3 1-2 1. Totals 17-46 23-36 59.

UMBC -- Davis 2-6 2-2 6, Zito 2-4 0-3 4, Young 0-0 0-2 0, Gogerty 3-9 2-2 10, Pugh 4-7 3-3 11, Washington 3-14 3-4 10, Fisk 0-1 0-0 0, Dinkins 0-0 0-0 0, McJimson 4-12 6-11 14, Feckoua 0-0 0-2 0, Housman 0-2 0-0 0, Feeley 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-56 16-29 55.

Half --Boston, 33-23. 3-point goals--Boston 2-8 (Bell 0-1, Fitzgerald 1-1, Carr 0-2, Grochowalski 1-2, Turner 0-2), UMBC 3-23 (Zito 0-1, Gogerty 2-5, Pugh 0-2, Washington 1-10, Fisk 0-1, McJimson 0-4). Rebounds--Boston 42 (Bell 7), UMBC 38 (McJimson 10). Assists--Boston 7 (Carr, Turner 2), UMBC 13 (Gogerty 5). Total fouls--Boston 22, UMBC 28. Fouled out--Pugh. A--1,114.

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