Three is the magic number. On Monday at the RAC, that statement held true as the men’s basketball team absolutely dominated Shenandoah on their way to an 88-59 victory. Sophomore forward Arkel Lamar and senior guard Joe Sherborne paved the way for the Retrievers.
According to ESPN.com, UMBC entered the match-up with a 99.3 percent chance to beat Shenandoah, despite the fact that the Hornets came into the contest with a winning record. So what would be the telling factor: would it be the expert opinion, or would Shenandoah prove their legitmacy on the court as they did in two of their first three games?
Despite the noon tip-off time, an excited crowd inhabited the RAC arena. Having a game at free-hour gave commuters a conveinent opportunity to watch the men’s basketball team play, without having to come back to campus. The Retrievers came out of the gate red hot despite having to play the game without their leading scorer, Jairus Lyles. The Retrievers maintained an early 19-6 lead, but from that point on, Shenandoah improved their play tremendously. The Hornets would never bring the score even, but over the final 10 minutes of the first half they did trim the deficit to a mere two points.
Once the buzzer sounded to start the second half the Retrievers were ready to take over this ball game. The Retrievers shut out the Hornets for six straight minutes, mounting a 16-0 run during the time frame. This run was highlighted by four 3-pointers, three of which came from sharp shooting Sherborne. The Retrievers would go on to outscore the Hornets 48-22 during the last 20 minutes.
The Retrievers improved their record to 4-3, which brings them above the .500 mark for the first time this season. The great shooting performance from range improved the Retrievers rank to ninth nationally in three pointers made per game. The men’s basketball team will return home Dec. 12 against Coppin State.
Jairus Lyles: Jairus Lyles was out for the game due to concussion protocol. Lyle’s was not seen during the shoot-around, and was absent from the bench during the game. An ESPN shot revealed Lyles watching the game from one of the athletic office windows. The only information about the injury came from the men’s basketball Instagram account, saying “hopefully (Lyles) will be back Friday.”
Jourdan Grant (Senior-Guard): Grant appeared to suffer a leg injury during the game, but the injury did not seem serious. Grant was seen walking, and celebrating on the bench.
K.J Maura (Senior-Guard): Maura favored his right leg late in the second half. He was removed promptly and seen applying ice to the area. Maura seemed to have a slight limp, but the injury did not seem serious.
Look for Grant and Maura to return to the court Friday in South Carolina against Army. With the shroud of mystery surrounding the Lyles injury, his status seems to be questionable.