UMBC nearly blows lead of 12, but still has Towson's number

Retrievers' 63-61 victory is ninth in row over Tigers

December 05, 2004|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

UMBC made it nine straight over Towson last night, 63-61, but the host Retrievers nearly squandered a 12-point lead in the final seven minutes.

Not until Lawrence Hamm's three-point attempt rolled around and rimmed out for Towson and senior center Andrew Feeley muscled the rebound for UMBC as time ran out did the Retrievers breathe a sigh of relief.

UMBC built a 59-47 lead with 6:50 to play on an outstanding performance from its bench, in particular, freshman guard Michael Knight and junior forward Seth Davis.

Knight, filling in for the injured Chris Pugh, led the Retrievers with 13 points, and Davis led in rebounds with eight.

UMBC also got a boost from a pair of three-point baskets by freshman Brian Hodges in the second half.

"I have no problem putting Michael Knight on the floor at any time," said UMBC coach Randy Monroe, whose team improved to 2-3. "Michael is shooting 92 percent at the foul line, and we want our freshmen to be in these situations. Down the stretch, he made a few mistakes, but he's going to be one of the best players ever to play at UMBC."

Pugh started but played only 10 minutes with an injured ankle. Knight played 26 minutes.

Rebounding was the key to the game, and UMBC won that battle 36-27. UMBC had a 21-11 rebounding lead at halftime and held Towson to two offensive rebounds in that half.

"They did a terrific job rebounding and would not let us get to the boards for second shots," said Towson coach Pat Kennedy. "Their 2-3 zone also hurt us in the first half. We were pulling the trigger on our shots too quick."

Towson (2-5) lost its fourth straight.

"We had a five- to six-point lead and then let up mentally instead of pushing to make it a 15-point lead," Kennedy said. "We learned how to come back tonight, but we have to learn to play 38 quality minutes and we have to learn how to win on the road."

UMBC missed the front end of three one-and-ones in the final 32 seconds and finished just 4-for-10 at the foul line as the Retrievers continued to have free-throw problems.

Sophomore guard Trevan Jackson (12 points) made two free throws with 17 seconds left to pull Towson to within two points.

UMBC continued to struggle defensively against three-point shots, giving up nine to Towson and 40 for the season.

This was the 48th game between the teams, and Towson leads the series 30-18.

TOWSON - Hamm 4-9 3-4 11, Tubbs 2-3 2-2 7, Plack 3-5 1-3 8, Jackson 4-12 2-4 12, Green 2-3 0-0 5, Fletcher 1-6 0-0 3, Dixon 1-1 0-0 2, Pease 5-7 0-0 13, Raboin 0-1 0-0 0, McCartney 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-48 8-13 61. UMBC - McJimson 3-7 2-4 8, Zito 5-14 0-0 10, Feeley 4-8 0-1 8, Gogerty 3-4 0-0 7, Pugh 1-4 1-2 3, Knight 5-8 1-3 13, Davis 3-5 0-0 6, Hidges 2-5 0-0 6, Housman 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 27-56 4-10 63.

Halftime-UMBC, 32-29. 3-point goals-Towson 9-22 (Hamm 0-1, Tubbs 1-1, Plack 1-1, Jackson 2-8, Green 1-2, Fletcher 1-3, Pease 3-5, Raboin 0-1), UMBC 5-12 (Gogerty 1-2, Pugh 1-2, Knight 2-5, Hodges 2-4). Rebounds-Towson 27 (Hamm 5), UMBC 36 (Davis 8). Assists-Towson 15 (Fletcher 7), UMBC 15 (Gogerty 5). Total fouls-Towson 18, UMBC 13. Fouled out-Green. A-2,361.

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