Junior-forward Sam Schweitz battling against Hood. Photo by Alex McKenzie.
The Retrievers men’s basketball team lost two consecutive games in which they were heavily favored against Towson and FGCU. On Friday the Retrievers were heavily favored once again, with ESPN’s matchup predictor giving the Retrievers a 99.6 percent chance to beat the Division III Hood College Blazers.
But the Blazers impressed the Retrievers early on as they held an early 14-9 lead. Their three-point shooting was impressive through the first few minutes as they were shooting over 50 percent from behind the arch. They were able to keep the game close through much of the first half until UMBC went on a 10-0 run with 5:48 left in the half. The two teams would go into halftime with a 45-32 Retriever lead.
In the second half, the Blazers came out with an impressive performance. They would use a 15-5 run to cut the Retrievers lead to just 3 points. However, Hood would be unable to tie the Retrievers for the rest of the game. Over the last 13 minutes of the game, UMBC would dominate, giving them an easy 86-65 victory.
Graduate-forward Joe Sherburne impressed on the evening, as he started the game scoring 7 of the teams first 9 points. Overall Sherburne went 6-10 from the field scoring 15 points and narrowly missing a double-double with 9 rebounds. Sherburne also registered 6 assists.
Sophomore-forward Brandon Horvath led the team in scoring with 19 points off the bench. He also registered 5 rebounds and had 3 of the Retrievers 8 rebounds on the evening.
Senior-guard Isiah Rodgers has perhaps the most exciting performance on the evening. Rodgers does not get much playing time, but in the closing minutes, he dazzled the crowd. In the closing minute, Rodgers notched his first career three-point basket, taking an open three from the right side of the arch as teammates celebrated. He also made a layup directly under the basket for UMBC’s last points of the game. There was an opportunity for another three-pointer with an open shot from the left corner, but the ball went in and out causing groans from teammates. On the evening Rodgers registered a career-high 5 points.
The Retrievers improve their record to 7-6 on the year. After a hiatus for the holiday, the team will play again on Dec. 29 at NIT champion Penn State.