UMBC rally falls short in America East opener


In their America East men's basketball opener last night, the UMBC Retrievers followed what is becoming a familiar pattern of falling behind early, then trying to come back.

Against the visiting Maine Black Bears, one of the conference's top teams, the Retrievers chipped a 15-point deficit with 4:55 left in the first half to seven at halftime. But UMBC eventually came up short, 62-51.

The Retrievers dropped to 2-4 overall and 0-1 in the league. Maine improved to 4-2 and 1-0.

"This is a good team that needs to start believing it is good," first-year coach Randy Monroe said about his Retrievers. "We lost to a seasoned America East team, a tremendous team made up of juniors and seniors that played in the championship game last season. Our guys gave 110 percent, but Maine made the key steals and scored when they had to."

Led by the shooting of senior point guard Rob Gogerty and the rebounding and defense of senior center Andrew Feeley, UMBC played more aggressively in the second half and trailed 48-46 with 6:19 to play, aided by Maine's dismal second-half shooting. The Black Bears opened the half by shooting just 4-for-17 from the field and finished it with 34.5 percent accuracy.

But repeated UMBC turnovers down the stretch, as well as Maine's ability to make its free throws, enabled the Black Bears to pull away. Maine was 19-for-24 at the line for the game. UMBC committed 18 turnovers, 10 in the second half. The Black Bears turned the ball over 12 times.

UMBC out-rebounded Maine 21-18 in the second half after being out-rebounded 20-14 in the first half.

Feeley finished with nine points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots. Gogerty scored all 11 of his points in the second half and had six assists.

"I tried to settle down the team in the first half because we have some young players," Gogerty said. "We got more aggressive in the second half. We need to get more aggressive at the start of the game. We can't be satisfied."

Cory McJimson and Michael Knight led a UMBC comeback after the Retrievers fell behind 30-15. McJimson scored eight of his game-high 14 points during that stretch. Knight hit two three-point baskets.

"UMBC did a great job," Maine coach Ted Woodward said. "They started out 2-0 in their building and have a lot of guys back. We gutted it out. It wasn't our prettiest game. A lot of guys stepped up defensively for us after our two leading scorers [Kevin Reed and Ernest Turner] got in early foul trouble."

Maine has won all four meetings between the teams.

MAINE - Dubois 4-4 4-6 10, Campbell 3-5 6-6 12, Turner 1-5 0-1 3, Bruff 1-3 2-2 4, Reed 5-11 0-0 12, Flavin 1-9 1-2 3, Jackson 4-12 2-2 12, Ahvenniemi 0-0 0-0 0, Markwood 1-6 4-5 6. Totals 19-55 19-24 62. UMBC - McJimson 4-8 6-7 14, Zito 0-1 1-4 1, Feeley 4-8 1-2 9, Knight 3-9 0-0 8, Gogerty 5-8 1-2 11, Pugh 1-2 0-0 2, Bilal 0-5 0-0 0, Davis 1-1 0-1 2, Hodges 0-4 4-4 4, Housman 0-0 0-3 0. Totals 18-46 13-23 51. Halftime-Maine, 36-29. 3-point goals-Maine 5-21 (Campbell 0-1, Turner 1-2, Reed 2-6, Flavin 0-2, Jackson 2-8, Markwood 0-2), UMBC 2-13 (Knight 2-5, Gogerty 0-1, Pugh 0-1, Bilal 0-3, Hodges 0-3). Rebounds-Maine 38 (Reed 7), UMBC 35 (Feeley 11). Assists-Maine 10 (Markwood 7), UMBC 12 (Gogerty 6). Total fouls-Maine 21, UMBC 19. A-1,274.

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