The UMBC men's basketball team (0-2) opens play for the final year at the RAC Arena on Thursday, Nov. 16, when the Retrievers host the Central Penn Knights. Tip-off time is slated for 7:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3. Gary Stein, John Feinstein and Paul Mittermeier have the call.
Retriever Update: Jairus Lyles led all scorers with 31 points, but third-ranked Arizona overcame a spirited Retriever (0-2) effort and triumphed, 103-78, before 13,496 at McKale Arena on November 12. Jourdan Grant (14 points) buried a pair of treys to spark an 8-2 run to start the second half and brought UMBC to within 58-55 at the 17:48 mark. UMBC was still within 81-68 after freshman wing Brandon Horvath knocked down his second trey of the game at the 8:57 mark. But the Wildcats scored the next 11 points of the game to put the game out of reach.
UMBC opened the two-city, five-day road trip to open the season with a 78-67 loss at SMU on Nov. 10. The game was knotted at 63-all at the five-minute mark, but the Retrievers went without a field goal down the stretch. Lyles led UMBC with 24 points, while sophomore forward Arkel Lamar posted his first double-double with career highs of 23 points and 12 caroms.
Lyles leads the team and was ranked 19th nationally in scoring average at 27.5 points per game. His 31-point effort at UA marked the fifth time in his career that he topped the 30-point mark. Lamar (17.0 ppg) and Grant (13.0 ppg) have also posted double figures in both games.
The Retrievers knocked down 10 or more treys in 16 games last season. They have made 14 or more on five occasions. UMBC hit the 14-mark for the first time in 2017-18 by knocking down 14-of-28 at Arizona on Nov. 12. In the season's very early stages, UMBC was ranked 19th nationally in 3-point goals made (22) through Nov. 14.
A Glance at the Knights: Central Penn is affiliated with the United States Collegiate Athletic Association. The USCAA features 85 institutions and sponsors championships in baseball, softball, basketball, golf, cross country, volleyball and soccer.
Central Penn posted a record of 25-9 a year ago and only fell, 67-60, at Howard. They took on five NCAA Division I teams a year ago and will play seven (UMBC, Winthrop, Georgetown, Howard, Buffalo, Eastern Shore and Cornell) this year.
Central Penn easily won its first two games, triumphing at Penn State York, 84-56, on Nov. 7 and trouncing Penn State Worthington Scranton, 106-69, on Nov. 14. The Knights took on Williamson Trade on Nov. 15.
Guard Daylin Davis scored 17 points in 15 minutes versus PSWS and leads a balanced attack with 13.0 points per game.
Other Retriever Notes:
The RAC, originally known as the UMBC Fieldhouse, first opened during the 1972-73 season. Hence, this is the 46th campaign of Retriever basketball in the facility. Earlier UMBC teams competed in Gymnasium One, which stood where the UMBC Commons currently occupies.
Head Coach Ryan Odom was the recipient of the 2017 Joe B. Hall Award, which is presented annually to the top first-year coach in Division I.
UMBC became the fourth team in America East history to make their way to the semi-finals of a national tournament, after garnering three victories in the 2017 College Insider Tournament (CIT). Vermont went to the semis of the 2015 and 2016 CBI and Boston U. got to the CBI semis in 2010. But UMBC is the first of those squads to win three games to reach the penultimate round.
The 21 wins was the second-most in the 30-year NCAA Division I history of the program.
Up Next: UMBC hits the road to take on Colgate on Sunday, Nov. 19. Tip-off time in Hamilton, N.Y. is set for 2:00 p.m