Local college basketball fans could not have asked for a better game on a Wednesday night as UMBC and Loyola battled it out in the RAC in a televised game. With the game withing one with under a minute left it could have gone either way, but Loyola knocked down a key shot with just 11 second left to force the game tying three from the Retrievers.
After a time out with two seconds left Loyola fouled Retriever point guard Chris De La Rosa to only give UMBC a chance at two points, while needing three. He made both shots, the Retrievers made the immediate foul, but Loyola hit both, and on a long inbound pass in hopes of the game tying three, the ball was thrown out of bounds as Loyola took the victory, 69-66.
After a strong start in the first few minutes while Chauncey Gilliam recorded nine points in five minutes, he only scored on point the rest of the half as Loyola led at intermission by 10, 36-26.
To start the second half Matt Spadafora scored six of UMBC’s nine points to trim the lead. While the game was close the rest of the game, it was not until a Chauncey Gilliam jumper put UMBC ahead with 6:58 left.
With seven more lead changes it looked to be a game headed to over time, but a free throw by Brett Harvey with 1:40 was the last as Loyola hit six free throws and one field goal to close out the game.
While Gilliam only had one point in the final 15 minutes of the first half, he scored 12 in the second half for a career high 22 points. In the game he went 3-4 from three point range. As a team they went 7-13 (53.8%) from beyond the arc. Three more of those three point shots came from freshman Shawn Grant who scored 11 points.
The only other Retriever to score in double-digits was Spadafora, who had 10 in the game.
It was the combination of Jamal Barney who was the achillies heal for UMBC. He scored 21 points in the game, 14 of which came in the second half.
While the Retrievers were down in the second half, they switched to a five guard set and battled back, but once again Loyola came out on top.
The switch came because 7’0″ forward Robbie Jackson struggled to get things going in the game and the other big men, Jake Wasco and Adrian Satchell, each had four fouls.
Next for UMBC is their first road match of the season with a showdown against George Washington on Saturday.