The UMBC Retrievers (19-9, 10-3 America East) continue the stretch drive when they host the Stony Brook Seawolves (11-17, 6-8 AE) on Wednesday, Feb. 21. Tip-off time is slated for 7:00 p.m. at the UMBC Event Center and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3 with Gary Stein, Paul Mittermeier and Graham Whaples on the call.
A UMBC victory would give the Retrievers back-to-back 20-win seasons (fourth overall) for the first time in their NCAA Division I history (1986-87). It would also assure the Retrievers of no worse than a No. 3 seed in the America East playoffs. UMBC can finish no worse than fourth and will host a quarterfinal contest on March 3.
Retriever Update: Graduate student guard Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half and backcourt mate, senior K.J. Maura (San Juan, P.R.) added 19 as UMBC rallied from 12 points down early in the second half and edged Albany, 68-60, at the UMBC Event Center.
The Retrievers (19-9, 10-3 America East) won for the third consecutive time and the ninth time in the last 11 games, while Albany (20-9, 8-6 AE) had a two-game winning halted.
The UMBC victory was its first over Albany since 2014 and just the second triumph in the last 19 meetings.
Lyles paces the Retrievers and America East in scoring (20.9 points per game) and is also in the top ten in eight other America East statistical categories. He is 28th nationally in points per game.
Maura (10.4 ppg) leads the conference with 5.4 helpers per game and is ranked 23rd nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.93). Sophomore forward Arkel Lamar (Bridgeport, Conn.) (11.3 ppg) and junior forward Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) (10.9 ppg) also average in double figures. With 14 points versus Albany, Sherburne just became the 23rd player in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
With the win over Albany, UMBC improved to 9-1 in games decided by 10 points or less… The 19-9 record marks the first time the program has been ten games over .500 since 2007-08, when they captured the league championship… The 19 wins is tied for the fourth-most in UMBC's 32 years of NCAA Division I competition… The 10 America East wins are also the second-most in 15 conference seasons, trailing only the 13-3 mark in 2007-08.
A Glance at the Seawolves: A resurgent Stony Brook squad has won three of the last four, rebounding from a five-game slide. SBU rallied to knock off UNH, 72-63, at IFCU Arena on Saturday. Senior guard UC Iroegbu came off the bench to spark the Seawolves with 17 points.
Stony Brook is currently tied for fifth place in America East, but can finish no higher than that spot with two games remaining on their regular season slate.
Red-shirt sophomore wing Akwasi Yeboah, who scored 20 points versus UMBC in the first meeting, leads SBU with 14.9 points per game. He also leads the squad with 49 treys and 5.1 caroms per game.
Stony Brook forces a league-high 15.4 turnovers per game and leads America East in steals (8.4) per contest.
The Series: Stony Brook leads the all-time series, 23-10, but UMBC has captured the last two meetings. The Retrievers snapped a 10-game losing streak on Long Island with a narrow 67-63 decision on Jan. 31. The Seawolves have captured 9 of 14 meetings in Baltimore, but UMBC halted a massive 18-game slide in the all-time series with a 65-52 victory at the RAC Arena in February of 2017.
Up Next: UMBC concludes its three-game homestand and will celebrate Senior Day when they welcome UMass Lowell on Saturday, Feb. 24. Tip-off time at the UMBC Event Center is set for 1:00 p.m., but fans are asked to be in their seats by 12:45 p.m. for the pre-game ceremonies honoring Jairus Lyles, Jourdan Grant and K.J. Maura. The Retrievers conclude the regular season on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at Hartford.