In-state rivals UMBC and UMES meet for the first time since 2005 in the Retrievers’ final home game prior to four straight on the road. The game also features teacher versus student as former UMBC assistant and Howard head coach Frankie Allen returns to the RAC Arena to match up against his former player/assistant Aki Thomas. Tip-off time is set for 7:00 p.m. The game will be streamed on www.umbcretrievers.tv.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: After playing an NCAA-record tying four consecutive overtime games, UMBC (2-5) has shot under 30 percent from the floor combined in losses at Navy and Towson. Senior wing Chase Plummer scored in double figures for the fifth consecutive game at Towson on Nov. 26 and led the visitors with 17 points. He needs two points to become the 15th Retriever to score 1,100 in a career. Freshman guard Rodney Elliott continues to lead the Retrievers in scoring, now at 13.4 points per game.
HAWK UPDATE: UMES (2-3) is 2-0 at home and 0-3 on the road this season. In their last outing, the Hawks dropped a 67-59 decision at Navy on Nov. 26. Guards KyRee Jones (18.3 ppg) and Hakeem Baxter (15.0 ppg) form a dynamic backcourt. Jones, who led UMES with 16 points at Navy, has buried 14 treys in four outings to date. UMES defeated Mount St. Mary’s, 78-71 on Nov. 20.
A LOOK BACK: The last time these teams met, current assistant coach and then-senior forward John Zito posted scored 23 points and added 14 rebounds as host UMBC opened the 2005-06 season with a 75-65 win over Maryland Eastern Shore. Zito had secured his third career double-double by halftime with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
UMES took its final lead at 42-41 on an Antonio McMillion three-pointer with 13:41 to play. But then UMBC went on a decisive 14-0 run over the next four minutes to take a 55-42 lead with 9:34 to play. Current assistant coach and then freshman guard Jay Greene made his UMBC debut Greene by tallying 16 points, including 10-of-10 from the charity stripe, all in the second half.
UMES head coach Frankie Allen spent three years on the bench at UMBC, culminating in the Retrievers’ NCAA appearance in the 2007-08 season. Allen and Aki Thomas shared the sidelines that season as Thomas made his debut on the coaching staff during that historic run for the Retrievers.
UP NEXT: UMBC has a busy week, travelling to Pittsburgh for a Dec. 4 match-up at Duquesne, before heading back to Pennsylvania for a Dec. 7 contest at Lehigh.