It’s not very often that you will see a team give it absolutely everything they have but still not win. But that was the case for UMBC when they lost 62-58 to New Hampshire. UMBC was absolutely desperate for a win and out hustled the Wildcats and fought harder than them all night but the team just barely missed there second win of the season.
After an 12-0 run by the Wildcats looked to take UMBC out of the game, UMBC responded with an 8-0 run of their own and eventually got the game within two points towards the end. But at that point they were just constantly fouling New Hampshire in hopes of a miss and couldn’t get close enough to win or send it into overtime.
The Retrievers only had a few slight mishaps in the game. They missed seven free throws, four of which came in the final two minutes, and had three very bad turnovers that resulted in New Hampshire points. But the little things are big things in a close game and they ultimately cost UMBC the game.
However, UMBC did give some reason to believe they could be a decent team down the stretch this year. They played a very inspired game and were fired up and doing everything they could to get a win. The only senior, Matt Spadafora, had possibly the best game of his career with seven points and 10 rebounds, seven of which came in the first half. He battles, he pushed around inside, and he made plays. Robbie Jackson finally played to his 7’0″ 265 lbs build and used it to make things happen. He made aggressive moves to the basket and battled down low. He’s aggressiveness caused two New Hampshire big men, Dane Diliegro and Jame Valladares, to foul out of the game and really open things up for UMBC. Chauncey Gilliam led the team with 16 points despite constantly being met with double-teams. He also grabbed eight rebounds. Finally, Jake Wasco came up huge for UMBC on defense and had three big blocks as they held New Hampshire to just 62 points.
Things are coming around in Catonsville, it is just taking longer than expected. If they can get the little things right and play defense like they did against New Hampshire they can move into the middle of the pack in the America East. It’s just a matter of getting those things done.