The UMBC men’s basketball team will not go undefeated this season. On Wednesday, Nov. 23, the Retrievers fell to the Naval Academy Midshipmen 78-66.
Navy (2-4) bottled up the Retrievers (4-1) potent offensive attack. The Retrievers mustered a season-low 66 points after scoring at least 90 in three of their first four games. Despite the low scoring, the Retrievers shot a respectable 47 percent from the field.
However, the boys in gold and black struggled making their free throws. UMBC went 10-17 from the charity stripe. This year, UMBC is second to last in the America East in free throw percentage (.689). Only Stony Brook Univserity shoots worse in the America East Conference. Navy laid a lot of bricks at the line as well, going 9-20.
Junior guard Jairus Lyles tied for the overall lead in scoring. Lyles led the Retrievers with 15 points on 5-9 shooting. The Virginia Commonwealth transfer added five rebounds, three steals and two assists. However, the Silver Spring native, struggled to cash in at the line. Lyles went 5-9 at the stripe. On the season, Lyles is shooting 68 percent from the line.
Senior forward Will Darley was the only other Retriever to record double figures in the loss. Darley scored 12 points with two rebounds and two assists. The Timonium native shot 4-7 from the field. Darley also went 3-5 from three point range.
UMBC faced real issues on defense. Navy shot 55 percent from the field and 57 percent from three point range. The midshipmen’s also got great support from their reserves, outscoring UMBC in bench points 31-15.
Five Midshipmen scored in double figures. Sophomore guard Ryan Pearson led team with 15 points, three rebounds and three assists. Pearson went 6-9 from the field and made half of his three point attempts. Backcourt mate Bryce Dullin added 14 points, seven boards and four dimes. Dullin mad six of 11 field goals.
Navy dominated the glass as well, holding a decisive 35-23 advantage. In addition, Navy also shared the ball better with 21 assists. The Retrievers did however create more turnovers (15) than assists (12).
UMBC started out well, charging out to a 15-7 lead in the first eight minutes of the game. The Midshipmen then went on a 7-0 run over the next minute and a half. After freshman Arkel Lamar’s three increased the Retriever lead to 18-14, the Midshipmen caught fire.
Navy battled back and took a 23-20 lead after three consecutive three pointers, holding onto the lead for the rest of the game. Navy outscored the Retrievers 22-8 to close the first half and never looked back.
UMBC closes out their brief two game excursion on Wednesday. The Retrievers travel to Pittsburgh to face a reeling Duquesne University Dukes. For the second straight game, UMBC faces a team that bested them last season.
The Dukes beat the Retrievers 89-70 at the A.J. Palumbo Center. Duquesne (2-4) has lost three straight games, including a 93-59 drubbing to the second ranked University of Kentucky Wildcats. As of Sunday, the Dukes rank 247th in the country in scoring. The Dukes also rank 303rd in the nation in points per 100 possessions.
Defensively, Duquesne ranks 246th in points allowed and 188th in points allowed per 100 possessions. The Retrievers come back home Saturday to play Messiah College before heading back on the road for two more games.