LOWELL – UMBC shattered season best in field goal and 3-point field goal percentage and routed UMass Lowell, 89-62, in the Retrievers' first-ever appearance at Tsongas Center.
The Retrievers improved to 12-7 overall and 3-1 in America East play, while UML slipped to 6-10, 0-3.
Graduate student guard Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) led all scorers with 21 points in just 24 minutes of playing time.
Senior guard K.J. Maura (San Juan, P.R.) and junior forward Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) both tied season highs from behind the arc, each knocking down five in six attempts. Maura scored 17 points and added five assists, while Sherburne scored 15 points.
Sophomore forward Arkel Lamar (Bridgeport, Conn.) hit 4-of-7 from long range and added 14 points.
UMBC converted 33-of-57 shots (57.9 percent) from the field and 16-of-25 (64.0 percent) from beyond the arc. The 16 treys were one shy of a season high, recorded versus Centenary on Dec. 31.
UMBC shook off its recent shooting woes in the early going, knocking down four of its first five attempts from behind the arc and taking an early 14-6 lead. Lyles would score nine consecutive points to trigger a long sustained surge from the visitors which saw them build the lead to 40-19 on a Sherburne trey with 3:27 to play in the stanza. Lyles scored UMBC's final basket of the half with 42 seconds to play and the Retrievers took a 42-25 advantage into the break.
Lyles scored 13 points and Lamar added 11 in the first 20 minutes. UMBC continued to lock in defensively, holding UML to only 7 (of 24) field goals (29.2 percent).
Lowell scored the first field goal of the second half, but Lyles responded with an and-one. After one empty UMBC possession, Maura knocked down a trey and Sherburne hit two straight to extend the margin to 54-28 with 16:45 remaining.
UMBC led by as many as 32 points, at 68-36, with 12:50 to play.
The Retrievers, ranked No. 3 in the nation in treys per game (11.7) and total threes made (211) snapped a five-game slump, which saw them convert only 50-fof-150 treys.
The UMBC defense continued to excel, holding UML to 34.5 percent shooting (20-of-58). The Retrievers are allowing only 62.1 points per game in their last six contests (4-2).
UMBC's margin of victory of 27 points is the second-largest in its 15-year America East history, only behind a 29-point margin of victory at UNH (79-50) in 2010.
After five days on the road, UMBC travels back to Baltimore on Saturday night and faces an upstart Hartford squad on Monday, January 15. Tip-off time for the MLK, Jr. Day special is 6:00 p.m.