BALTIMORE – The UMBC men's basketball team tied an NCAA Division I record by playing in their fourth consecutive overtime game, but extra time was unkind to the Retrievers as they fell, 89-83, to visiting Loyola at the RAC Arena.
The Greyhounds improved to 4-0 on the season and have won all four games by seven points or less. UMBC is now 2-3 and 2-2 in the overtime games.
UMBC sophomore forward Malik Garner (Philadelphia, Pa./Chestnut Hill Academy) led four Retrievers in double figures with 18 points.
Loyola senior guard Dylon Cormier, who was averaging 28.3 points per game entering the contest, scored 34 in 44 minutes of action. But it was sophomore wing Eric Laster who buried four late treys in a 48-second span to force overtime.
UMBC had staged a 23-point rally to send Sunday's contest vs. Mount St. Mary's into overtime, where the Retrievers prevailed. But on this night, Loyola used some incredible marksmanship down the stretch to erase a 17-point deficit midway through the second half and prevail.
The Retrievers still maintained a 10-point cushion at 73-63 with 90 seconds remaining, but Laster converted his first trey to trim the lead to seven points just seven seconds later. After UMBC junior guard Joey Getz (Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Wood) hit one of two free throws, Laster struck again and Loyola was within 74-69 with 1:14 remaining.
UMBC senior guard Quentin Jones (Baltimore, Md./Mt. St. Joseph) briefly stemmed the tide, hitting a long field goal from the left corner, but Laster answered, this time with Garner draped all over him.
The hosts were still up by four, but made the critical mistake of turning the ball over after a Loyola timeout. Cormier made the steal and fed Laster, who swished this shot from the right wing and the 17-point advantage had shrunk to 76-75 with 42 seconds to play.
Both teams then squandered opportunities to win in regulation. After a UMBC missed shot, Cormier was fouled on a run-out, but only converted the tying free throw with 11.3 seconds to play. Retriever freshman guard Rodney Elliott (Baltimore, Md./John Carroll), who excelled in the second half, drove to the basket and was fouled with 3.0 seconds left. But Ellliott, who had hit all four free throw attempts on the evening to that point, missed both and the game went to overtime.
Loyola maintained the momentum and never trailed in the extra frame.
UMBC senior forward Chase Plummer (Plainfield, N.J./St. Patrick) came off the bench to add 17 points to the Retriever cause, while Eliott added 13 points and senior post Brett Roseboro (Quakertown, Pa./Quakertown) scored 11.
Laster scored 15 of his 16 points in the second half.
For the second straight game, UMBC dominated the glass, and outrebounded Loyola, 50-31. UMBC corralled more than 20 (22) offensive rebounds for the second consecutive game. They outscored Loyola, 20-9, on second chance points, but the Greyhounds capitalized on 20 UMBC turnovers, turning those into 30 points.
Loyola shot exactly 50 percent from the floor (28-of-56) for the game, while UMBC slumped after halftime and just managed to stay over 40 percent (28-of-69).
UMBC, which was shooting just 56.6 percent from the stripe, hit 24-of-31 (77.4). The Retrievers made 15 of their first 16 second half attempts, but misfired on four of their final six in regulation.
The other three schools to play four straight overtime games are Jacksonville (1982, 3-1), Illinois State (1985, 3-1) and Dayton (1988, 1-3). Hence, it has been 25 years since the last occurrence.
The Retrievers take on Navy in Annapolis on Saturday evening.