|UMaine||Maryland Baltimore County|
BALTIMORE – With Maine holding a 36-35 lead at the half, UMBC put together a scoring run of 31-6 to start the second half. The Black Bears could not come back from the deficit, falling 86-74 on Saturday afternoon in the final men’s basketball game at RAC Arena.
The Black Bears drop to 5-18 on the season and 2-6 in the America East, while UMBC is now 15-8 ad 6-2 in conference play.
Playing in his home state of Maryland, Isaiah White put together a career-high performance of 22 points on an efficient 9-for-12 shooting from the field. The Ellicott City, native shot 3-of-4 from long distance, grabbed seven rebounds, and dished three assists in 32 minutes of work.
Aaron Calixte recorded 14 points while going 6-of-9 from the field. Andrew Fleming tallied 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds to round out Maine’s double-figure scorers. Vernon Lowndes Jr. chipped in nine points and five boards off the bench.
Maine shot 51.8 percent (29-56) in the contest, its second best shooting performance this season. The Black Bears shot 52.9 percent (27-51) in a 78-72 win over Quinnipiac on Nov. 26.
The Black Bears built a seven-point lead at 23-16 after Ilker Er sunk a 3-pointer with 7:25 on the clock in the first quarter. However, the Retrievers quickly tied the game, going on a 7-0 run. The two teams would trade baskets, but UMBC would take a seven point lead at 34-27 following another 7-0 sprint.
In the final 2:27 of the half, Maine ensued on an 9-1 charge to take a 36-35 lead into the locker room. The run featured four points from White along with two points apiece from Calixte and Fleming. White and Calixte combined for 23 points in the first half, with the backcourt duo only missing one shot from the field (10-11) in that span.
After Fleming opened the second half scoring with a layup, momentum swung heavily in UMBC’s favor. Through the first six minutes of the half, UMBC went on a 31-6 run to build a 66-44 advantage.
UMBC extended its lead to as high as 22 points at 69-47, but the Black Bears never gave up, slowly chipping away at the Retrievers’ lead. Maine cut the lead to just 11 at 83-72 after a 28-17 run of its own, but the Black Bears ran out of time, falling 86-74.
Maine held advantages in points in the paint (36-34), bench points (26-20), and free throw percentage (71.4 percent to 50 percent).
The Black Bears turned the ball over 24 times, which led directly to 31 points for the Retrievers.
Jairus Lyles led the Retrievers with 34 total points, including 24 in the second half alone. Joe Sherburne put together a double-double performance with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while K.J. Maura nearly got one with 10 points and nine assists.
The Black Bears return home this Wednesday, hosting UMass Lowell at the Cross Insurance Center. The tip is set for 7:00 p.m. in Bangor.