BALTIMORE – UMBC junior guard Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) scored a game-high 24 points, leading four players in double figures as the Retrievers overwhelmed Delaware State, 90-68, at the RAC Arena.
The Retrievers, who shot 54.1 percent from the floor, have opened the season at 3-0 for the first time since the championship season of 2007-08.
Lyles' backcourt mate, junior K.J. Maura (San Juan, Puerto Rico) scored 19 points and added six assists and two steals in his home debut. Sophomore post Nolan Gerrity (Cleveland, Ohio) recorded his first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while senior forward Will Darley (Timonium, Md./Dulaney) added 11 points.
Leading 18-17 at the11:42 mark of the first half, UMBC went on a mammoth 16-0 run to forge in front 34-17 with 7:33 remaining in the stanza. Six different Retrievers scored in the run, with Lyles and junior guard Jourdan Grant (Bowie, Md./Archbishop Spalding) keyed the surge with three-point field goals.
The Hornets would trim the deficit to 34-21, but the Retrievers closed the half on a 9-2 run, punctuated by a top-of-the-key trey by Darley to give the hosts a 43-23 halftime edge.
Delaware State opened the second half on a 10-3 run to cut the deficit to 46-33, but Lyles scored six points in an 10-0 response to give the hosts a 23-point margin at 56-33 with 15:27 remaining.
The Hornets would attempt to fight back, and got within 67-52 at the 8-minute mark, but key treys by sophomore wing Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) and Maura on UMBC's next two possessions sealed the outcome for the Retrievers.
The Retrievers converted 33-of-61 shots from the floor, 10-of-21 from behind the arc and 14-of-18 from the stripe. Led by Gerrity, they outrebounded DSU, 42-36, and outscored the visitors, 40-30, in the paint.
DeAndre Haywood led the Hornets with 20 points, but the visitors shot only 35.3 percent (24-of-68) from the field and 6-of-29 (20.7 percent) from behind the arc.
Lyles is averaging 21.7 points per game in the early going and the Retrievers have converted 35 treys in three games.
UMBC hosts Kennesaw State on Saturday. The game will begin 30 minutes after the women's contest vs. Maryland Eastern Shore, which starts at 1:00 p.m.