When last seen at home the University of Maryland Baltimore County team looked like one that wanted nothing more than to have its season end. Last night against Rider, the Retrievers played like a team that might give teams problems in the upcoming East Coast Conference tournament.
Coming back from a 12-point deficit early in the second half, thRetrievers rallied to defeat Rider, 72-63, before a sparse crowd at the UMBC Fieldhouse.
UMBC (3-21, 2-8 in the East Coast Conference) ended six-game losing streak and avenged an 82-61 loss at Rider last month. The Broncs (10-14, 3-7) had won four of their previous six games.
Senior forward Derrick Reid scored 19 points to lead thRetrievers. Darrick Suber scored 25 to lead the Broncs.
The Broncs led, 31-23, at the half and scored the first four pointof the second half to go up, 35-23, but UMBC came right back as Melvin Swann scored seven points during an 11-3 run that pulled the Retrievers to within 38-34.
Suber, the fifth-leading scorer in the ECC, scored 12 of hiteam's first 14 points of the second half and his layup with 13 minutes left gave the Broncs a 45-40 lead. But the sophomore, 6 feet 2, left the court with 12 minutes, 40 seconds left after being elbowed in the head and when he returned his team was trailing, 55-51, with 5:56 left.
Suber's two free throws with 5:07 left ended a 6-0 UMBC run anpulled the Broncs to within 55-53, but the Retrievers outscored the Broncs, 17-10, the rest of the way -- including a 10-2 spurt in the final 1:27 -- for only their second conference win all season.
It was an inspired UMBC team that fell behind, 6-2, buresponded with an 11-5 run -- eight of the points from center Jim Frantz -- to take a 13-11 lead.
The teams were tied at 15 when the Retrievers went cold, hittinonly two field goals over a stretch of six minutes. The Broncs were able to open up their biggest lead of the half, 31-21, when Tim Pennix hit his only field goal of the half with just under a minute left, but Brian Watkins scored on a short jumper with 31 seconds left for the 31-23 halftime margin.
Frantz scored 12 points in the half and Watkins had fivrebounds for the Retrievers, who shot just 30.3 percent. Suber scored nine for the Broncs, who hit for 48.1 percent.