The UMBC men's basketball team (13-8, 4-2 America East) returns home for a pair of games this week, with the Binghamton Bearcats (10-11, 1-5 AE) stepping in first on Wednesday, Jan. 24. Tip-off time set for 7:00 p.m. and the broadcast will air on ESPN3 with Gary Stein, John Feinstein and Paul Mittermeier on the call.
UMBC's coaching staff will be participating in Coaches vs. Cancer Suits And Sneakers® Week (January 22-28, 2018). This is a nationwide event that unites coaches across the country to raise funds and awareness about the fight against cancer, and promotes the American Cancer Society as a source of inspiration and hope for those facing cancer. While coaching games during the week, coaches wear sneakers with their game attire as a visible reminder about the importance of nutrition and physical activity in reducing one's cancer risk.
Retriever Update: Host Albany clicked on all cylinders and defeated UMBC, 83-39, at SEFCU Arena on Sunday. The setback ended UMBC's three-game winning streak.
Graduate student guard Jarius Lyles, who led the team with 14 points at Albany, paces the Retrievers and America East in scoring (20.6 points per game) and is also in the top ten in six other America East statistical categories.
Sophomore forward Arkel Lamar (Bridgeport, Conn.) (12.7 ppg, team high 6.7 rpg) is one of three other players averaging double figures. Senior guard K.J. Maura (San Juan, P.R.) (10.3 ppg) leads the conference with 5.2 helpers per game and is ranked 26th nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio, while steady junior forward Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) averages 10.5 points per contest.
The aforementioned foursome are all shooting better than 40 percent from 3-point range and all rank in the top seven of marksmen in the conference.
UMBC leads the league, averaging 75.9 points per game and the Retrievers are converting 11.5 treys per game, seventh in the nation through games of Jan. 23. They are fifth nationally with 241 total 3-pt. field goals made.
A Glance at the Bearcats: Binghamton rolled off seven consecutive non-conference wins in December, including victories over a pair of squads – Colgate and Army – that edged UMBC. But, since that point, the Bearcats have dropped seven of nine. The lone league win in that span came over Albany, 79-66, in Vestal, N.Y., on Jan. 15.
Junior guard J.C. Show, who did not compete in league play a year ago due to injury, leads the Bearcats at 15.1 points per game. One of America East's top marksman, Show has converted 56 treys through 21 games this season. Junior post Thomas Bruce has dominated the paint in 2017-18. He is second in America East in rebounding at 8.8 per game and leads the conference with 2.7 rejections per game. Bruce nets 12.1 points per game and is coming off a 13-point, 19-rebound effort in a 79-71 setback vs. UMass Lowell on Sunday.
Binghamton averages 73.0 points per game and allows 70.7. They shoot at a 46.8 percent clip, which includes Bruce's league-best 59.9 percent efficiency.
The Series: Binghamton holds a narrow 15-14 series lead, but the Retrievers have won the last three contests. UMBC is 10-4 versus the Bearcats at the RAC Arena, including the last two decisions.
A year ago, in Ryan Odom's America East debut, the Retrievers edged Binghamton, 85-71, on Jan. 5 at the RAC Arena. On Feb. 1, as the league cycle re-started, UMBC triumphed, 92-74, at Binghamton.
Up Next: UMBC welcomed Maine to the RAC Arena on Saturday, Jan. 27 (1:00 p.m,)