UMBC's Brett Roseboro and Ryan Cook proved to be a combination that was too much for Towson to overcome Saturday night.
Roseboro finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds and helped control play inside in the second half, while Cook scored a game-high 22 points to help the Retrievers hold off a few rallies from the Tigers for a 66-62 victory before 1,627 at RAC Arena.
The play of Cook, a guard, and Roseboro, a 6-foot-10 center, helped UMBC (2-5) snap a four-game losing streak. Both came up big in the second half as Cook scored 18 of his points after the break, and Roseboro got 11 of his in the final 20 minutes.
UMBC scored the game's first nine points and appeared in control before Towson (3-4) rallied and eventually tied the game twice early in the second half. But the Retrievers never let the Tigers take the lead and held off their charge.
"We were able to punch back," UMBC acting coach Aki Thomas said. "We looked like a veteran team."
Cook and Roseboro were the big reasons the Retrievers did punch back. After Mike Burwell tied the game twice for Towson -- the final time at 38 on a layup with 12:44 left -- Cook and Roseboro stepped up.
Cook scored six points to help the Retrievers to a 46-39 lead with 8:27 left. Roseboro pitched in shortly thereafter with five straight points to give UMBC a 54-46 edge.
Roseboro repeatedly dominated inside, especially in the second half, posting his first career double-double on a night when everything finally came together for him.
"I knew there was going to be a game where I'd break out," Roseboro said. "They like to throw me the ball inside. That gives me more confidence. I'm feeling good right now."
The more Roseboro did inside, the easier life became for Cook. He began driving to the basket and repeatedly drawing fouls. Cook went 10-for-10 from the free-throw line, all of which came in the second half.
"Brett opens up [things]," Cook said. "It was like a chain reaction."
Chase Plummer (11 points, 11 rebounds) also helped UMBC with his double-double, which included a pair of timely 3-pointers in the second half.
Jerome Hairston and Burwell each scored 14 points apiece to lead Towson while Jerrelle Benimon added 13. His 3-point play with 28.4 seconds left cut UMBC's lead to 62-59 before Cook made four straight free throws to lock up the win.
Towson coach Pat Skerry was very frustrated with his team's effort. The Tigers played hard and outrebounded UMBC (43-34) but shot just 58 percent (15-for-26) from the free-throw line and finished with 17 turnovers.
He said there'd be "massive" changes with his team in the coming days.
"Our execution and shot selection is absolutely destroying us right now," Skerry said. "We're underachieving right now. This team hasn't figured out how to win."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun