Elliott and Harris Lead Second-Half Surge as Men's Basketball Outlasts Navy, 63-48
BALTIMORE – UMBC freshman guards Rodney Elliott(Baltimore, Md./John Carroll) and Brian Harris (Oxon Hill, Md./Southern) combined for 27 second-half points as the Retrievers defeated Navy, 63-48, before a lively 1,672 at the RAC Arena.
Elliott led all scorers with 21 points, while Harris, appearing in just his second game this season, scored all 14 of his points in the final nine minutes of the game.
UMBC (4-9) snapped a four-game slide and improved to 4-1 at home this season. Navy dropped its third in a row and fell to 5-6.
The Retrievers, averaging 26.1 fouls per game, committed only 12 in the game and Navy only attempted one free throw in the contest.
UMBC was buoyed by great second-half shooting, as the Retrievers hit 14-of-25 attempts, including 6-of-11 from behind the arc.
Navy led, 21-20, at the half and Mids' guard Kendall Knorr drew the visitors even at 29-all on a three-pointer with 12:30 remaining. But the Retrievers went on a 8-0 over the next three minutes, sparked by back-to-back treys by senior posts Brett Roseboro (Quakertown, Pa./Quakertown) and Chase Plummer (Plainfield, N.J./St. Patrick).
Navy sophomore guard Brandon Venturini drained a trey to bring his side to within 44-37 with 6:14 remaining, but Elliott and Harris countered with three-pointers to start another 8-0 surge and give UMBC a comfortable 54-37 advantage with 2:08 to play.
Elliott hit 8-of-12 shots from the floor and 4-of-5 from behind the arc to go over the 20-point mark for the second time in his initial campaign. The two-time America East Rookie of the Week has scored in double figures in six straight and 10 of 13 games to date.
UMBC finished the game at 47.8 percent from the floor, hitting 22-of-46 shots and 10-of-22 from long range. Navy hit 12 treys, but managed only 6-of-28 shooting from inside the arc.
Junior forward Devarick Houston (Jonesboro, Ga./Mays) led all players with 12 rebounds as the Retrievers outrebounded Navy, 40-31, and outscored the Mids, 22-10, in the paint.
Venturini and backcourt mate Zach Fong led Navy with 15 points apiece. Fong hit 5-of-9 shots from behind the arc.
The victory by UMBC avenged a 73-58 loss in Annapolis on Nov. 23. It was the first time UMBC played a home-and-home series with a non-conference foe since 2002.
The Retrievers open their 11th America East season on Sunday, Jan. 5 when they face league newcomer UMass- Lowell in Lowell, Mass.