Men's Basketball Celebrates Senior Night With Great Defense in 65-52 Triumph Over Second-Place Stony Brook

photo by:Brian Gonzalez
photo by:Brian Gonzalez

BALTIMORE –UMBC reached the 18-win plateau for just the fourth time in 30 NCAA Division I seasons, as the Retrievers upset Stony Brook, 65-52, in the regular season finale at the RAC Arena.

The Retrievers improved to 18-10 overall and 9-6 in America East play, while Stony Brook fell to 17-11, 12-3.

UMBC, Albany, and New Hampshire are now in a three-way tie for third place with one game remaining. UMBC plays at UNH on Saturday.

The Retrievers, the top offensive team in America East, but next-to-last in defense, allowed a season-low 52 points to Stony Brook.  

UMBC also broke an 18-game losing streak to the Seawolves that extended back to the 2007-08 campaign.

UMBC junior guard Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) and sophomore wing Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) led a balanced effort with 13 points each. Freshman wing Arkel Lamar (Bridgeport, Conn.) produced a huge second half when UMBC needed it, scoring all of his 10 points in the final 20 minutes.

Stony Brook forward Roland Nyama led all scorers with 22 points.

UMBC seemed to be in command, as they built a 41-24 lead with 16:30 remaining. But Stony Brook embarked on a 12-0 run to shave the deficit to 41-36 at the 12:11 mark. Lamar responded with his first big sequence of the game, hitting back-to-back treys to restore an 11-point margin.

After Nyama converted two free throws on the other end, things unraveled for the home team. After Lamar missed a driving layup, UMBC head coach Ryan Odom was assessed two technical fouls and ejected from the game at the  The technical fouls were Odom's first two of his UMBC tenure. Nyama was awarded and converted four free throws, and, after a Tyrell Sturdivant layup, the UMBC lead was trimmed to 47-44 with 8:41 remaining.

Clinging to a 49-46 lead, the Retrievers embarked on a game-deciding 9-0 run. The surge was punctuated by a steal and run-out slam dunk by Lamar and a trey by Sherburne to give the hosts a 58-46 advantage with 4:04 to play.

Neither team converted 20 field goals in the game, nor reached the 40 percent mark from the floor. But Stony Brook could not overcome 29.6 percent shooting, while UMBC did manage to convert 10 treys (of 26) to create some separation.

The Retrievers outrebounded the bigger Seawolves, 44-29, but only managed four second-chance points.     

The Retrievers jumped out to a 7-0 lead and never trailed in the first 20 minutes. Leading 16-9, the Retrievers outscored the Seawolves, 14-6, capped by a pair of treys by sophomore forward Joe Sherburne to take a 30-15 lead with 3:39 remaining in the period. 

UMBC maintained the advantage and led, 36-21, at the half. The Retrievers outrebounded the Seawolves, 24-11, in the first 20 minutes and permitted SBU only one offensive carom.

The nine America East victories are the second-most for UMBC in 14 league seasons. UMBC's 2000-01 team also recorded 18 (18-11) victories.