Hot shooting sends UMBC past Delaware

UMBC 85 Delaware 84


Minutes before tip-off last night, UMBC forward Jerrell Dinkins looked down at Delaware's bench and saw something that made him angry. Really angry.

"I just happened to glance over and see the guys on the other team laughing and dancing," Dinkins said. "I pulled my team in together, and I said, `We can't let this team laugh and dance at us.' They took us as a joke."

It's a safe bet to assume Delaware feels a little differently now. Even though UMBC played without John Zito, its leading scorer and rebounder, the Retrievers played their best game of the season, shooting 63 percent in a thrilling 85-84 victory over the Blue Hens at RAC Arena.

Three UMBC players finished with a career high in points, led by Dinkins, who had 19 points and seven rebounds. Forward Mike Housman, who found out 45 minutes before tip-off that he was going to start in place of an injured Zito, was 8-for-8 from the field for 16 points, and guard Chris Pugh scored 17.

The Retrievers led by 10 with 2:13 to play, but Delaware clawed back - with its best player, Harding Nana (28 points), on the bench, no less.

The Blue Hens even got the ball with 7.5 seconds left and a chance to win it, but Andrew Washington (19 points) couldn't convert on a hard drive to the basket as time expired, and when the horn went off, UMBC (2-3) celebrated one of its biggest wins in a while.

Retrievers coach Randy Monroe was proud of the way his players battled through adversity.

When Zito went down with an ankle sprain Wednesday in practice, Monroe figured it was simply an opportunity for the squad to rise to the occasion. He was right.

"I told them before the game, `Teams will get hit with adverse situations,' " Monroe said. "Now, how do we handle it? We don't have John, so we might as well cash this game in? Or do we step up to the plate, embrace the challenge, and go play the best we can? I think this team proved they could do that tonight."


DELAWARE - Nana 10-15 5-6 28, Olawoye 2-2 0-2 4, Geli 1-3 0-0 2, Taylor 3-6 0-3 7, Courtney 1-3 0-0 2, Cannon 2-6 5-5 10, R.Washington 3-7 2-2 10, A.Washington 6-12 7-8 19, McMahon 1-1 0-0 2, Madera 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 29-57 19-26 84. UMBC - Dinkins 7-11 5-5 19, Housman 8-8 0-2 16, Timba 0-0 0-0 0, Pugh 5-5 6-8 17, Hodges 4-12 5-6 15, Greene 1-3 2-3 4, Seaborn 0-0 0-0 0, Bilal 1-4 0-0 3, Young 4-5 3-6 11. Totals 30-48 21-30 85. Halftime-Delaware, 43-39. 3-point goals-Delaware 7-17 (Nana 3-6, R.Washington 2-4, Cannon 1-2, Taylor 1-3, Courtney 0-1, A.Washington 0-1), UMBC 4-13 (Hodges 2-8, Pugh 1-1, Bilal 1-2, Greene 0-1, Young 0-1). Fouled out-Housman, Nana, Taylor. Rebounds-Delaware 29 (Nana, A.Washington 6), UMBC 27 (Dinkins 7). Assists-Delaware 17 (Taylor, A.Washington 4), UMBC 22 (Hodges, Housman 5). Total fouls-Delaware 25, UMBC 22. A-1,722.

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