With 7’0″ center Robbie Jackson not making the trip with a concussion, and leading scorer Chauncey Gilliam only playing 10 minutes before being sidelined with a sprained ankle, UMBC had to play 30 minutes of basketball against a Big Ten team with just eight players, only one of whom is taller than 6’5″. With that situation UMBC did not have much chance to beat the Nittany Lions, but despite a 16 point loss, 58-42, they played their best game of the season.
UMBC went into the half only down by four points, 27-23, but were outscored 31-19 in the second half. With the size no player with enough size to compete in the paint, they were out rebounded 48-22, and gave up 36 points in the paint.
The five guard set of Chris De La Rosa, Matt Spadafora, Brian Neller, Shawn Grant, and Adrian Satchell played a 2-3 zone defense the entire game and held the Nittany Lions to 58 points, the lowest UMBC has allowed all season. Penn State show just 39.1% from the field and an settled for a lot of bad jump shows as they shot 19.0% from three-point range.
Offensively UMBC did not get things going, which wad due to fatigue, lack of size, and just being over-matched by a major conference team. They shot just 32.1% from the first and only 18.2% from three point range.
Leading UMBC in points were Chris De La Rosa and Brian Neller, who each scored 10 points. The last two games Neller has really grown and shown he can be an impact player on this team. He hit two of the teams four threes (the other two game from fellow freshman Nick Groce) and has gotten into a rhythm from behind the line.
De La Rosa also matched his season average with six assists with four steals to go with it.
Satchell, Grant, and Groce all added six points. Satchell also had a team high five rebounds. The last retrievers to add points to the UMBC score were Wasco and Spadafora who scored two points each. Wasco also had four rebounds.