UMBC rips Washington in 2nd half


7/8 TC Spencer Ferguson helped UMBC steal one from Washington College.

Ferguson made five of his game-high six steals in the opening minutes of the second half, helping UMBC score 20 of the first 27 on the way to a 90-71 victory over Washington College in its season opener last night at the UMBC Fieldhouse.

Washington College (2-2) led for much of the first half, which ended in a 43-43 tie. The Shoremen scored 11 of the game's first 13, and although UMBC rallied, it never led by more than three.

Ferguson sparked the Retrievers at the start of the half. The senior guard forced five steals and made four layups during a 15-4 run that gave UMBC a 60-49 lead with 15:15 left.

Ferguson hit all four of his second-half shots and finished the game with 14 points, six steals and four assists in 16 minutes.

The senior guard left with about 15 minutes left and missed the rest of the game due to an illness, but he made his mark.

"He picked us up defensively," said UMBC coach Earl Hawkins. "Defensive intensity is where games are turned around and where games are won and lost."

Hawkins said he told the Retrievers to increase the defensive pressure in the second half. UMBC gave the Shoremen trouble (( when it stepped up pressure on its man-to-man defense in the second half.

Ferguson and the Retrievers caused eight Washington College turnovers in the first six minutes -- equal to the total for the entire first half -- and took control.

"When they started making steals in the open court and turning them into layups, that hurt us," said Washington College interim coach Mike Hart.

Washington College finished with 14 turnovers in the second half and 22 overall.

UMBC shut down the Shoremen from the field and on the boards for much of the second half. Sonique Nixon (14 points) grabbed 11 of his game-high 16 rebounds in the second half.

The Retrievers limited the Shoremen to 10 of 39 (26 percent) from the field in the second half. They also kept Jay Devlin quiet. The 6-foot-6 forward scored 17 in the first half on six of nine from the field but made one of seven in the second half, finishing with a game-high 21 points.

"We played harder in the second half than we did in the first half," said Nixon. "We had to step it up."

The second half also was good for the Retrievers on offense, as they hit 18 of 27 (67 percent) from the field. The Retrievers made nine of the first 11 in the half during that game-breaking stretch.

UMBC also got help from the bench, as Eric Wyatt (team-high 16 points), Kevin Bellinger (13 points) and Artie Walker (11 points) .. led a 51-point effort. Wyatt scored 14 in the second half, making all four shots and hitting five of six from the line.

Turnovers were UMBC's biggest problem on offense. The Retrievers turned it over five times in the opening five minutes and finished with 30 for the game.

Washington College never got going on offense. Charles Cummings (St. Paul's) scored 16 for the Shoremen, and South Carroll graduate Geoff Rupert added 12. Cummings scored 10 in the second half on five baskets.

Washington College struggled with its shooting throughout the game. The Shormen made 27 of 79 (34 percent).

"I'd say the [defensive pressure] was the difference," said Hawkins. "We turned up the heat."

WASHINGTON -- Rupert 5-19 2-6 12, Devlin 7-16 4-4 21, Davis 4-7 0-0 8, Kenah 0-4 0-0 0, Cummings 7-16 2-2 16, Kenny 0-0 0-0 0, Harris 0-6 2-2 2, Hicks 1-3 1-1 3, Lapp 0-0 0-0 0, Cuff 3-8 3-4 9. Totals 27-79 14-19 71.

UMBC -- Butts 1-1 0-0 2, Thompson 1-1 0-1 2, Nixon 6-10 2-4 14, Ferguson 6-8 1-2 14, Saunders 2-10 2-2 7, Hayes 2-3 0-0 4, Wyatt 4-6 7-8 16, Scott 0-1 1-2 1, Walker 5-9 0-0 11, Lay 2-3 2-2 6, Bellinger 6-8 1-1 13. Totals 35-60 16-22 90.

Halftime -- Tied 43. 3-point goals -- Washington 3-15 (Devlin 3-8, -- Cummings 0-4, Harris 0-3), UMBC -- 4-12 (Ferguson 1-2, Saunders 1-5, Hayes 0-1, Wyatt 1-2, Walker 1-2). Rebounds -- Washington 41 (Davis 14), UMBC 43 (Nixon 16). Assists -- Washington 14 (Rupert 5), UMBC 15 (Ferguson 4). Total fouls -- Washington 20, UMBC 16. Fouled out -- none. Technicals -- none. -- 824.

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