Charleston, S.C. – UMBC saw its three-game winning streak halted, as the Retrievers uncharacteristically struggled to score in the second half and fell, 81-70, to Army (4-1) in the first round of the Bulldog Bash at the Citadel.
The Retrievers will face The Citadel in the consolation contest at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Junior forward Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) led UMBC with 17 points, but did not score after halftime. Sophomore forward Arkel Lamar (Bridgeport, Conn.) added 16 points and a game-high 9 rebounds, and junior forward Max Portmann (Wichita Falls, Texas) scored a season high 12 points.
But UMBC (4-4) converted only 7-of-25 second half shots, including just 3-of-12 from behind the arc. The Retrievers finished at a season-low 39.3 percent from the floor for the game, after hitting a solid 15-of-31 shots in the first 20 minutes.
With the game tied at 50-all, Army posted a 9-0 run to take a 59-50 lead at the 12:32 mark. The Retrievers would go nearly seven minutes without a field goal and could not capitalize on 25 Army fouls, as they misfired on 7-of-13 to start the half.
UMBC closed to within 68-61 after a Portmann lay-up trey with 7:13 remaining, but Army countered with a 10-3 surge to put the game away.
The first half was played at break-neck speed and both teams were efficient from all over the floor. UMBC knocked down 8-of-14 shots from behind the arc, while Army converted 7-of-15. Sherburne did not hit his first trey until the 10:15 mark of the first, but then converted five straight, scoring 15 consecutive UMBC points in a span of 3:45 and single-handedly erased a five-point deficit. His third trey tied the score at 30-all and his next at the 7:37 mark gave the Retrievers a 33-30 advantage.
UMBC settled for a 43-41 first half lead, the seventh time in eight games that they have gone to the locker room with an advantage.
The Retrievers played without leading scorer Jairus Lyles (19.7 ppg) due to injury for the second consecutive game.