Freshman Shawn Grant had a breakout performance against the local rival Towson Tigers as he led all scorers with 28 points as he went 10-14 from the field and 4-6 from both three point range and the foul line.
It was the same thing that killed UMBC last yea when they played Towson, their ability to shoot the three. Towson hit 11 three’s and in a close game that difference of five three’s was big.
Defensively UMBC has not played well all season and this was no different. they gave up 82 points and 74.5 per game this year. A big reason is their lack of size. With Justin Fry being out of action for another month UMBC has just one big man that sees significant time. When Fry comes back, you should expect to see a big defensive boost from the team.
To help out Grant’s 28 point performance was three other Retrievers in double figures in scoring. Chauncey Gilliam scored 13 points while freshman Adrian Satchell scored 11 and Chris De La Rosa scored 10. De La Rosa also had seven assists anf five rebounds but he went just 3-10 from the field and 0-1 from three point range.
In 30 minutes Jackson recorded 11 rebounds but only scored seven points.
Three other Retrievers scored in the game as Matt Spadafora and Brian Neller each scored three and Nick Groce scored two.
While Towson led the game by 15 points in the first half, they never completely took UMBC out of the game. They have many opportunities to do so but with less than one minute left UMBC cut the Tigers’ lead to just three points. While UMBC had the ball with 14 seconds left, De La Rosa bounced the ball off his foot, lost possession and with one second left Towson put the exclamation point on the game with a dunk as time ran out.
Despite their 0-6 record, UMBC could be a major factor in the America East Conference, play starts in a month. They have played a tough schedule and aside from their George Washington loss (who could be nationally ranked this season) they have been in every game, playing Morgan State (who is expected to make it to the tournament with ease), Loyola (who just beat Morgan State with ease), Coppin State (who is always a threat to make the tournament), James Madison (a preseason favorite to do well in the CAA), and now Towson (who led nationally ranked Dayton by 13 points in their last game).
With that amount of experience playing quality teams the young team should be ready as they get back two players before the second-season starts.
Their next game will be in Toledo at 2:00 pm on Saturday.