BALTIMORE – The UMBC men’s basketball team erased a 14-point second-half deficit and went on to defeat the Maine Black Bears, 85-77, Saturday afternoon at the Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena.
UMBC (12-6, 3-1 America East) graduate student forward Tra’Von Fagan (seven rebounds) and senior forward Yaw Obeng-Mensah (nine rebounds) both recorded career-highs with 21 and 20 points respectively. Graduate student guard Craig Beaudion II added a season-high 15 points.
Guard Gedi Juozapaitis led Maine (6-11, 0-4 AE) with a game-high 24 points.
The Retrievers trailed 65-55 with 11:03 remaining but went on a 15-4 run to take the lead for good after Obeng-Mensah’s driving layup with 5:26 left in the contest. It was UMBC first lead of the game.
How It Happened (First Half)
– Maine shot 65.4 percent overall in the opening half and were 8-for-13 (61.5 percent) from behind the arc.
– The Black Bears started 14 of 18 from the floor and grabbed a 37-23 lead with 6:04 left in the stanza.
– Juozapaitis scored 14 points for the visitors and the visitors led 45-34 at intermission.
How It Happened (Second Half)
– The Retrievers trailed 60-46 after Juozapaitis hit a trey with 14:51 remaining in the contest.
– UMBC responded with six straight points, all on layups, to close within eight points at the 12:45 mark.
– The visitors extended their lead to 65-55 after Kristians Feierberg’s dunk with 11:03 left and still held a 67-60 advantage with 9:26 remaining.
– The Retrievers continued to fight as Fagan delivered a layup to whittle the deficit to 69-66 and then senior wing Jacob Boonyasith (7 rebounds, 5 assists) delivered the spark UMBC needed
– Boonyasith came up with a rejection underneath the basket on Juozapaitis, picked up the loose ball along the sideline and led Obeng-Mensah for a fast-break dunk that forced the Black Bears to call a timeout with 5:58 left.
– Following a Maine 3-point miss, Obeng-Mensah gave the hosts the lead for good at 70-69 on a layup.
– The Retrievers continued to increase their lead to 76-69 as Beaudion made two free throws, Obeng-Mensah added another layup, and graduate student guard Colton Lawrence canned a pull up jumper.
– Maine managed to inch within 79-77 after a triple by Jaden Clayton with just under a minute left but UMBC tightened up on defense and made all six of their free throws to ice the game.
Quote from Coach Ferry
“These guys all believed in each other. We weren’t playing well offensively; we weren’t in the flow. Going to the zone stymied them a little bit and we began to play in an attacking mode. Yaw and Tre’ really imposed their will on the interior.”
– UMBC has won 14 of their last 15 contests against Maine.
– UMBC is tied for the America East lead with Binghamton.
– The Retrievers shot a season-high 55.1 percent (55.1).
– UMBC made a season-best 25-of-32 free throws.
– The Retrievers outscored Maine by a 36-24 margin in the paint and outrebounded the visitors by a 35-24 margin.
– UMBC’s bench outscored Maine’s by a 32-13 margin.
– The Retrievers will host a non-conference game against Hartford on Monday at 5:00 p.m.