The UMBC men's basketball team (20-12) hosts Liberty (21-13) in the quarterfinals of the College Insider Tournament. The game is set for the RAC Arena on Sunday, March 26 at 2:00 p.m.
The Retrievers advanced with home victories over Fairfield, 88-83, and Saint Francis (Pa.), 87-79 last week. Liberty also played a pair of first and second round games at home, defeating Norfolk State, 73-64, and Samford, 66-58.
The game will be broadcast on Facebook Live with Gary Stein and Paul Mittermeier at the reigns. Live stats will be available via www.umbcretrievers.com. 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.
Now in its' ninth year, the 26-team CIT has had more schools make their postseason debut (25) and more programs win their first-ever postseason game (29) than all other tournaments combined during the eight seasons since the CIT was established in 2009.
The CIT uses the old NIT model in which there is no set bracket. Future round opponents are determined by the results of the previous round.
CIT games will be broadcast exclusively through Facebook Live, including all first round, second round and quarterfinal matchups. This enables the CIT to bring the excitement of postseason basketball to Facebook's global community of sports fans, which includes more than 650 million people connected to at least one sports Page on the platform.
The CIT semifinals and championship will be broadcast on CBS Sports for the fifth consecutive year.
RETRIEVERS' UPDATE: UMBC senior forward Will Darley scored 30 points and led UMBC to an 87-79 victory over Saint Francis (Pa.) in the second round of the College Insider Tournament last Saturday afternoon at the RAC Arena.
UMBC posted its 20th win of the season, reaching that plateau for just the third time in 30 NCAA Division I seasons.
The Retrievers' junior guard trio of K.J. Maura, Jairus Lyles and Rodney Elliott each scored in double figures. Maura scored 14 points, including 10 in the second half, Lyles posted a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds and Elliott added 11 points off the bench.
Elliott became the third Retriever this year (Darley and Lyles were the others) to reach the 1,000-point plateau and now stands in 20 th place on the hall-time scoring list with 1,008 points.
Lyles leads the squad in scoring, averaging 18.8 points per game. The 6'2" guard is also UMBC's top rebounder at 6.5 caroms per game and just became the third Retriever in school history to record 500 points and 200 rebounds in a single season.
Darley is now scoring at a clip of 16.2 points per game. He is now ranked fourth in the nation in 3-pt. field goal percentage (45.7 percent) and 20th in free throw percentage (88.8 percent).
Sophomore forward Joe Sherburne is averaging 11.0 points per contest, while Maura (8.8 ppg, 4.2 apg) is in the top 60 nationally in steals per game (1.8) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4).
Through games of March 19, UMBC was 22nd in the nation in scoring average at 81.8 points per game. They are also 18th nationally with 9.8 three-point field goals made per game and 16th in 3-pt. field goal percentage (39.8 percent).
MORE DOG BYTES: As of March 22, UMBC was currently the third-most improved Division I team in the nation with a 13.0-game improvement (7-25 to 20-12) over a year ago.
UMBC has broken a season record for 3-point field goals made in a season. The Retrievers have 312, shattering the mark of 248, which was set in the 2007-08 campaign.
The Retrievers just broke the single season record for points, as they currently stand at 2,618, surpassing the previous record of of 2,450 points, recorded in the 2007-08 season… UMBC's scoring average of 81.8 points per game is 0.1 behind of the 1991-92 team's school-record mark of 81.9 points per game… UMBC is 15-1 when scoring 80+ points, 14-0 when outrebounding a foe and will play its 33rd game today, tying the 2007-08 squad (24-9) for the most games played in a season.
FLAMES UPDATE: Liberty produced a brilliant Big South campaign, winning 14 of 18 contests. Junior guard Ryan Kemrite leads a balanced offense with 13.6 points per game and he has netted 80 treys on the year. The Flames score 66.6 points per game, but allow just 62.9. LU has converted 80 more treys than its foes and average 9.1 converted per contest.
THE SERIES: UMBC and Liberty have competed in the same conference on two occasions, as they were NCAA Division II foes in the Mason Dixon Conference for three seasons (1983-86) and Division I rivals in the Big South for six campaigns (1992-98). Liberty holds a prohibitive 18-4 series lead, although the Retrievers won the last meeting at the RAC Arena in February of 1998.
UP NEXT: For the winner, the semi-finals of the CIT Tournament are slated for March 29 at one site to be determined.