Despite UMBC putting in their strongest efforts, men’s basketball could grab the win against the University of New Hampshire Wildcats in double overtime, 90-94, even though their previous matchup ended in a double overtime comeback.
New Hampshire seemed to be out of the matchup after the Retrievers started running away with it, going on a 12-0 run deep into the second half. New Hampshire soon marched a comeback and acquired the lead, but junior Jairus Lyles sent the game into overtime, tying the game up with only 11 seconds left in regulation.
In the second overtime period, New Hampshire junior Iba Camara unleashed himself, scoring eight points in the period and snatching the win away from the Retrievers. Camara’s overtime effort earned him a double-double, scoring a total of 10 points to go with his 11 rebounds.
Four different Retrievers netted double digit scoring figures in the road matchup, with Lyles leading the way with 33 points of his own. Lyles also recorded eight rebounds in a matchup where his effort alone should have given the Retrievers the edge. However, Lyles was matched almost perfectly by New Hampshire’s stellar junior, Tanner Leissner.
Leissner nearly tied Lyles season high 33 points with 30 of his own, and even impressed in the rebound category with six. Lyles and Leissner both finished the season in the America East Conference top five in scoring, ranking at second (19.1 per game) and fifth (17.4 per game), respectively. Leissner finished ahead of Lyles though in rebounding, averaging 7.2 a game to Lyles 6.6.
The two teams met earlier in the season in the RAC, where the Dawgs clawed their way back the ‘Cats for a 105-103 win, again, in double overtime. Lyles and fellow junior Rodney Elliot led the Retrievers against the Wildcats, both recording at least 20 points in the triple digit game. Camara and Leissner also put in a valiant effort in their loss, with Camara racking up a double-double in that game as well and Leissner scoring 36 points. Both players spent 43 and 45 minutes on the court in that matchup.
UMBC will not wait long for their revenge game in what is turning into a heated rivalry against New Hampshire, as the two teams are set to tip off in the opening round of the America East playoffs tonight, March 1, in New Hampshire at 7 p.m. on ESPN3.