Men's Basketball Leads at the Half, But Offense Stalls in 66-45 Loss at Maryland

photo by: Gail Burton
photo by: Gail Burton

College Park, Md. – UMBC (8-6) held a six-point halftime lead at Maryland, but struggled to knock down shots throughout the contest and fell to the Terrapins, 66-45, before an announced crowd of over 14,000 at XFinity Center.


Graduate student guard Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds and moved into ninth place on UMBC's all-time scoring list with 1,318 points. Senior backcourt mate K.J. Maura (San Juan, P.R.) added 12 points for the visitors.


The Retrievers played a brilliant first half on the defensive end. They outrebounded Maryland, 23-21, forced 10 turnovers and held the hosts to 23.1 percent shooting from the floor.


UMBC led for 15:34 of the stanza, despite only making 8 of their first 31 field goal attempts. But trailing, 17-16, the Retrievers held Maryland to a pair of free throws in the final 4:56 of the half and Maura and Lyles swished the final two treys of the half to propel the visitors to a 24-18 halftime lead.   


UMBC allowed the second-fewest points in a half under Coach Odom, missing the mark by just one, as Hood tallied 17 points in the first game in 2016-17.


But the Terrapins (12-3) bounded quickly in the second half, opening the frame on a 16-5 surge and taking a 34-29 lead four minutes into the second half. UMBC briefly stemmed the tide on a Lyles trey and were within 36-34 after freshman forward Daniel Akin (Eltham, England) converted a layup at the 12:58 mark.


But Maryland found the range from behind the arc in the second half, hitting 8-of-15 and produced an ensuring 11-0 run over the next 4:15.


For the time in UMBC's basketball history, the Retrievers did not convert a free throw, missing the lone attempt. The one attempt was also a first-time occurrence.


The Retrievers, entering the contest as the nation's leading in treys made per game (12.4), made a season-low 7 threes in 38 attempts.


UMBC hosts Centenary (N.J.) on Sunday, Dec. 31 at 1 p.m., before opening America East Conference play at home versus New Hampshire on Wednesday, Jan. 3. Tip-off time is slated for 7:00 p.m.