The UMBC Retrievers men’s basketball team had a tough road trip last week. The team headed to Hartford, Connecticut where they were upset late by the Hawks, blowing a late lead and losing in overtime. The team then headed to Lowell, Massachusetts where they faltered on offense, and eventually fell to the Riverhawks in an ugly loss.
On Wednesday, the Retrievers would go to a new starting lineup, hoping to find some offensive production that might last throughout the remainder of conference play. For much of the season, the lineup had consisted of junior-guards KJ Jackson and Ricky Council II, sophomore-center Daniel Akin, graduate-forward Joe Sherburne and freshman-guard RJ Eytle-Rock.
But the Retrievers new-look lineup saw the return of junior-forward Arkel Lamar, and junior-center Sam Schweitz, replacing Akin and Council II. Akin’s replacement was due to injury.
The new lineup seemingly invigorated a Retrievers team that had been struggling to find production for much of the 2018-2019 campaign. Shots were falling for UMBC early, and the offense seemed to flow much better than it had previously. They were able to create shots using a quick paced offense and crisp passing, and their quick style of play lead to confusion for Binghamton’s defense, leaving Retrievers with open shots throughout the evening.
For much of the first half, UMBC and Binghamton traded shots with neither team pulling away from the other. But with slightly less than nine minutes left in the half, UMBC would make an impressive defensive stand. They were able to hold the Bearcats scoreless over 8:14, before they scored with only 44 seconds remaining. The Retrievers went on an 11-0 run over that stretch, with 6 of those points coming from three-point shots by Ricky Council II.
At halftime UMBC would lead 31-23, marking the first time they would lead a DI opponent at halftime since playing American University in November.
In the second half, the Retrievers would once again surge as they have in many games this season. Though Binghamton started the half by cutting into UMBC’s lead, the Retrievers would eventually start to run away with the game. They bullied Binghamton on both the offensive and defensive glass, out-rebounding them 16-9. The Bearcats never posed much of a threat in the second half, as UMBC cruised to a 68-49 win.
UMBC had three players score double-figures on the evening with Jackson, Lamar and Sherburne. Sherburne lead the team with 15, barely missing a double-double as he added 9 rebounds. Lamar scored 12 points while going 3/6 from beyond the arch, adding 6 rebounds and 3 steals. Jackson scored 10 points on the evening, while pestering opposing players on defense as usual.
The Retrievers move to 2-2 in the early conference season. They play again at home on Saturday as they take on Albany at 1 p.m.