UMBC faces its first nationally-ranked opponent in over a year when the Retrievers meet Indiana for the first time at famed Assembly Hall on Thursday, Dec. 22. UMBC’s took on 2011 national champion Connecticut on Dec. 3, 2010, falling, 94-61, to the Huskies. Tip-off time is set for 6:00 p.m. The game will also be broadcast on ESPN3 with Steve Andress and Perry Clark on the call.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: UMBC staged a furious rally, coming back from 14 points down and seven minutes to play and took visiting Rider to overtime on Dec. 17, but the Broncs prevailed, 73-66 in extra time. In a pair of home losses last week, UMBC amassed 51 offensive rebounds, but shot less than 32 percent from the floor in both setbacks. Sophomore forward Chase Plummer (14.2 ppg, 8.9 rpg) has recorded three consecutive double-doubles and was named America East Conference Player of the Week.
HOOSIER UPDATE: No. 17/18 Indiana (11-0) has been dominant, opening with a 96-66 win over America East member Stony Brook and, most recently, pounding Howard, 107-50 on Dec. 19. In between, they have wins over N.C. State , Notre Dame and No. 1 Kentucky (73-72). Five Hoosiers average in double figures, led by 6’11” freshman post Cody Zeller at 15.3 ppg. He is shooting 65.6% (61-of-93) from the floor, while junior guard Jordan Hulls (11.7 ppg) is hitting 58.5 percent (24-of-41) from behind the arc.
Who’s Up Next: UMBC completes the 2011 portion of the schedule at Niagara University on Wednesday, Dec. 28.
UMBC vs. the big ten: The Retrievers are 1-11 against the current membership of the Big Ten, with the lone win occurring at new member Nebraska in December of 2008.
The 66-64 win over the Cornhuskers on Dec.23, 2008 snapped the nation’s eighth-longest non-conference winning streak at the time. It still stands as UMBC’s top victory from an RPI perspective, as NU was ranked No. 53 at the time.
UMBC’s most recent contest vs. a Big Ten foe occurred in the 2009-10 season, when they fell at Penn State, 58-42.
* Sophomore Quentin Jones is expected to start his eighth consecutive game at Indiana. The local product (Mount St. Joseph) and junior college transfer (Wallace State-Ala.) is a walk-on to the program and started the season at No. 4 on the depth chart at point guard. But with injuries to freshmen Jarrel Lane (has not played in eight games to date) and Joey Getz (injured in game No. 3 vs. Loyola) and the departure of De La Rosa, Jones continues to quarterback the team and has produced 4.6 points per game.
* UMBC dropped its third consecutive season opener in the 59-45 loss to Penn on Nov. 11, 2011.
* UMBC did not hit a 3-point field goal vs. Penn, going without a trey for the ninth time in school history. The last time UMBC did not convert from behind the arc was Dec. 30, 2008 at Saint Louis.
* UMBC’s win at Towson on Dec. 10 snapped a 13-game slide dating back to the 2010-11 campaign. The last victory was a 84-79 decision at Maine on Feb. 6, 2011. The Retrievers are looking to break a seven-game home losing streak which extends back to a Feb. 3, 2011 victory over visiting Binghamton.
* UMBC has outrebounded eight of its first ten opponents. The Retrievers have collected 156 offensive rebounds through ten games, posting double figures in each. However, UMBC has only 114 second-chance points off of the extra 156 possessions. UMBC’s +3.9 rebound margin is 31st in the nation entering the week and the 40.4 rebuonds per game is tied with Florida and UCSB for 21st place.
* The young lineup is taking its toll on UMBC, as the Retrievers committed a season-high 21 turnovers vs. Loyola, exceeding the 20-turnover margin for the third consecutive game. They have 20 or more miscues in four of ten games to date, but did post a season-low eight vs. Morgan State Dec. 14.
* The Retriever increased their scoring output in each of the first four games, going from 45 to 59 to 63 to 79, but have not reached the 70-point plateau since the 84-79 setback at VMI.
* UMBC’s 53.8 percent marksmanship from the floor at VMI was its best since hitting 32 of 58 (55.2%) at New Hampshire on Feb. 24, 2010.
* UMBC was tied with both VMI and Central Connecticut State with 10:00 on the second-half clock, but failed to produce a victory in either contest.
* The combined record of UMBC’s first seven opponents through Dec. 6 was 33-23 (.589).
* The win over Towson snapped a four-game slide to the Tigers in the 53rd meeting between the schools… It also snapped a streak of 10 consecutive losses to Baltimore-area Division I schools dating back to a Nov. 29, 2007 victory over Morgan State.
* UMBC snared a season high 11 steals vs. Morgan State on Dec. 14. It is the most steals in a game for a Retriever team since capturing 13 vs. Goucher on Dec. 8, 2007.
* The 53 rebounds recorded by the Retrievers vs. Rider was the most by a UMBC team since they corralled 55 vs. Monmouth on Jan. 26, 2002.