Men's Basketball To Host Nation's Top Scoring Team, The Citadel, on Monday Evening

photo (Brian Gonzalez)
photo (Brian Gonzalez)

The Citadel at UMBC Game Notes 

UMBC (7-3) hosts the nation's top-scoring team, The Citadel Bulldogs (7-5), on Monday evening at 7:00 p.m.  The Retrievers will try to shake off a tough loss just 48 hours earlier, as visiting Towson edged UMBC, 73-72, before a season-high 1,311 fans at the RAC Arena.  

 

The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and New York Times best-selling author John Feinstein joins Gary Stein on the call of the contest. Paul Mittermeier handles sideline reporting duties.

 

Live stats will be available via www.umbcretrievers.com and fans can also follow via the men's basketball program's Twitter feed (UMBC_MBB). Access of live stats is also available via UMBC Front Row, UMBC Athletics' mobile website.

 

RETRIEVERS' UPDATE: UMBC (7-3) led for over 32 minutes against local rival Towson (7-4), but the visiting Tigers scored the game's final six points and nipped the Retrievers, 73-72, before 1,311 energized fans at the RAC Arena.

 

Towson junior guard Mike Morsell capped the late game rally with a driving layup with 12 seconds remaining. The Retrievers got possession under the basket with 7.5 seconds to play, but junior guard Jairus Lyles' ten-footer in the paint glanced off the front of the rim with two ticks left and the rebound could not be corralled as time expired.

 

UMBC senior forward Will Darley led all scorers with 22 points, while sophomore forward Joe Sherburne added 18.

 

The Retrievers have dropped back-to-back games for the first time this season. In both one possession setbacks to Richmond and Towson, UMBC led with five minutes remaining.

 

Junior guard Jairus Lyles leads the squad and America East in scoring, averaging 21.3 points per game.

 

Sherburne, who has knocked down 22-of-30 treys over the past five games, is now ranked eighth nationally in 3-pt. field goal percentage at 54.5 percent. He is now averaging 14.6 points per contest. Darley is also averaging in double figures at 12.8 points per contest.

 

UMBC is averaging an America East-high 82.2 points per game and is shooting at a league-best 49.4 percent clip from the floor in the early stages of the campaign.

 

DOG BYTES: The 7-3 start is still tied for the best all-time with the '07-'08 squad in 30 years of NCAA Division I competition. Only the 1981-82 squad was 8-2 after ten contests.

 

Through games of Dec. 17, UMBC was 43rd in the nation in scoring average at 82.2 points per game. They are also ranked 11th nationally with 10.2 three-point field goals made per game and 9th in 3-pt. field goal percentage (42.0).

 

BULLDOG UPDATE: The Citadel (7-5) is the nation's top scoring team, averaging 102.5 points per contest.

 

The Bulldogs attempt 77 shots per game, including over 38 from behind the arc. They shoot 77.3 percent from the free throw line.  Defensively, the Citadel allows 100.3 points per game and foes shoot 53.7 percent from the floor.

 

The Citadel has won four of six, but fell, 113-71, at Virginia Tech on Saturday. The Hokies trailed, 44-40, at the half, but scored 73 second half points to win going away.

 

No Bulldog player averages more than 26.3 points per game. They are led by sophomore forward Zane Najdawi, who averages 18.6 points per game and has converted 76 of 89 free throws. Sophomore guard Quayson Williams has netted a team-best 38 treys and averages 13.2 points per game. 

 

THE SERIES: The Citadel won the only previous meeting, 64-61, in Charleston in the Retrievers' first NCAA Division I campaign of 1986-87. It was UMBC's sixth DI game overall.

 

WHO'S UP NEXT: UMBC pays two more visits to the commonwealth of Virginia to complete the non-conference schedule. First up is a meeting with the James Madison Dukes in Harrisonburg, Va. on Friday, Dec. 23. Tip-off time is set for 7:00 p.m..