The UMBC Retrievers (12-5. 3-1 America East) play for the fifth time in 12 days when they host the Albany Great Danes (9-9, 0-3 AE) on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, Monday, Jan. 16, at the RAC Arena. Tip off time is slated for 1:00 p.m. and the contest will be broadcast on ESPN3, with Gary Stein, John Feinstein and Paul Mittermeier on the call.
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 (12-5, 3-1 America East) sliced a 14-point second half deficit to two points down the stretch, but could not complete the rally, and fell to Vermont (14-5, 4-0 AE), 81-72, before a packed house of 2,341 at Patrick Gym on Friday.
The Retrievers trailed, 65-51, with 12:35 remaining, but dug in defensively and held Vermont to just two points over an eight-minute span. Attacking the basket, UMBC went on 13-2 run, and cut the lead to two points on two occasions in the final five minutes. But the Catamounts held on and snapped UMBC's winning streak at three.
Lyles leads the squad and America East in scoring, averaging 21.1 points per game. The 6'2" guard is also UMBC's top rebounder at 7.1 caroms per game, good for fourth in the conference. Named America East Player of the Week for the second time this season on Dec. 26, he is currently ranked 22nd in the country in points per game.
Darley, who scored a season-high 29 points in the win at Hartford on Jan. 11, is up to 14.4 points per game. Sophomore forward Joe Sherburne, who has knocked down 39-of-61 treys over the past 12 games, stands second in the nation in 3-pt. field goal percentage at 54.7 percent. He is now averaging 14.0 points per contest.
Through games of Jan. 14, UMBC was 34th in the nation in scoring average at 81.8 points per game. They are also ranked 15th nationally with 9.8 three-point field goals made per game and 9th in 3-pt. field goal percentage (41.1).
DOG BYTES: The 12-5 start is also UMBC's best Division I record through 17 games. Only the 1981-82 NCAA Division II squad was also 13-4 after 17 contests. The 12 victories are UMBC's most since posting 15 in the 2008-09 campaign and the five road wins are the most since earning five that same season.
UMBC was ranked No. 21 in the Dec. 26 College Insider Mid-Major poll. The Retrievers received the third-most votes (37) in the Others Receiving Votes section in the Jan. 9 poll.
UMBC posted their first three-game AE win streak since the 2008-09 campaign.
GREAT DANES' UPDATE: UAlbany (9-9, 0-3 AE) is playing their third road game in four contests to open America East play. The Great Danes will return for a three-game homestand starting on Thursday.
UAlbany has started 0-3 in the America East with three defeats by eight points or less, coming off a 75-67 home loss vs. New Hampshire on Wednesday. UA sophomore guard David Nichols led UA with 19 points. Second-year guards Joe Cremo and Nichols are two of America East's top scorers at 17.0 and 16.1 points per game respectively.
UAlbany is 9th in all of Division I in rebounding margin, averaging 8.8 rebounds more than their opponents.
THE SERIES: Albany has dominated the series, winning five straight, 14 of the last 15 and leading, 22-7 heading into the 30th meeting. UMBC's lone victory since 2008-09, when they won two of three contests, occurred at the RAC Arena in February of 2014, when a Quentin Jones tip-in with under two seconds remaining gave the hosts a 71-69 win.
LAST YEAR'S MEETINGS: UMBC trailed, 36-34, at the half, but UA outrebounded the Retrievers, 36-21, and prevailed in the first meeting, 73-59, in Albany. Lyles led all scorers with 17 points.
In the return contest at the RAC Arena on February 3, UMBC shaved a 16-point second half deficit to three points in the final minute, but could not complete the comeback and fell, 79-73. Lyles again led all scorers, this time with 24 points, but the Danes again dominated the glass, 38-27, and held off UMBC in the final stages.
WHO'S UP NEXT: UMBC gets their first half bye this week and does not return to action on Sunday, Jan. 22 when they face UMass Lowell in Massachusetts. Tip off time is scheduled for 1 p.m.