After grabbing five quick rebounds 7’0″ center Robbie Jackson was taken out of the game for the rest of the half with an ankle injury. While trying to come back into the game in the second half to provide UMBC much needed size, he appeared to twist his ankle, which kept him out of the remainder or the game as he only played 10 minutes.
By losing Jackson, Jake Wasco and Adrian Satchell were moved into the five position and in doing so they each got into foul trouble. With four fouls each UMBC was left with five guard sets for the majority of the time. While the five primary players (Chauncey Gilliam, Chris De La Rosa, Matt Spadafora, Shawn Grant, and Brian Neller) all recorded at least 10 points, Wasco and Satchell only accounted for seven points while Jackson and Nick Groce came up empty in their ten minutes of play.
For the first six games Neller has a lot of difficulty hitting shots as he was just 5-25. But he seemed to finally get into a little bit of a stride against the Rockets and saw an increase in playing time as he went 5-10 from the field (5-9 from three point range) with a team high 15 point game. It is a big key that Neller his his stroke shooting the ball. He came into his freshman year regarded as one of the top pure three point shooters in the class and with the five today hopefully he can get into a rhythm and continue to give UMBC a lift.
Gilliam was second on the team with 13 points, Grant, who scored 28 against Towson, finished the game with 12 points and De La Rosa and Spadafora each scored 10 points. De La Rosa also dished out seven assists and showed a lot fo improvement controlling the ball as he turned the ball over just once. He also limited his number of poorly taken shots and went 3-5 from the field.
The lack od size really hurt UMBC. They were out-rebounded 40-28 and Toledo went inside often and took easy and uncontested shot with their big men.
Now at 0-7 the Retrievers very well may be looking at an 0-9 start as they have a road trip against Penn State coming up on Wednesday, and then a tough home contest against Rider on Saturday. On the bright side tough, none of these games truly count for UMBC’s post season. At the America East Conference level the only games that matter are really one weekend in march, which if you win you make the NCAA tournament. However, the conference season gets you in position to succeed during that weekend and they have six more non-conference games to work things out.