Riding a three-game winning streak and coming off an impressive victory over Delaware on Wednesday, the UMBC men's basketball team was hoping to resume America East play with a bang yesterday.
Instead, the host Retrievers played like the second-division team America East coaches picked them to be in the preseason, losing to New Hampshire, 60-41. New Hampshire was picked to finish ninth in the 10-team league.
UMBC dropped to 0-2 in the league and 5-6 overall, and New Hampshire, breaking a five-game losing streak, improved to 5-6 and 1-1.
It was the second-fewest points ever scored by UMBC in a Division I home game, and its 15 points at halftime were the fewest this season.
"I keep bringing up that coaches' prediction and trying to put some pressure on them to prove it wrong," said UMBC coach Randy Monroe. "I thought it would be good pressure. But maybe not. We played too tight tonight. We played like we had the weight of the world on our shoulders. We did not play well from the opening tip to the end."
UMBC's shooting was way off. The Retrievers shot 1-for-20 (5 percent) from three-point range.
"I could have drop-kicked that many in," Monroe said. "We shot 50 percent from three-point range against Delaware."
UMBC was 14-for-52 (26.9 percent) from the field overall against the Wildcats.
The Retrievers had almost no penetration from their guards and sparse transition offense.
"We were too much on the defensive instead of attacking," said Retrievers point guard Rob Gogerty, who had four points, four assists and seven rebounds.
Center Andrew Feeley led UMBC with nine points and eight rebounds.
Seth Davis, coming off the bench, twice provided some spark, and had six points, five rebounds, a blocked shot and a steal in 17 minutes..
For the fifth time in six games, UMBC held its opponent to below 38 percent shooting from the field. New Hampshire was 17-for-49 (34.7 percent) overall, and 6-for-21 (28.6 percent) from three-point range.
"Nothing seemed to work for us tonight," Monroe said. "We had a freshman [Brian Hodges] shoot 1-for-13 from the floor. On Wednesday he might shoot 10-for-13. It's basketball. You can have a bad game and come back with a great game."
NEW HAMPSHIRE-Karalis 0-1 1-2 1, Janev 6-13 0-0 13, Sturgill 2-6 4-8 8, Friel 3-7 2-2 11, Anderson 4-10 4-6 14, Vetrano 0-2 4-4 4, Walls 1-4 4-5 6Christensen 1-5 1-3 3. Totals 17-49 20-32 60. UMBC-McJimson 3-5 0-0 6, Zito 2-7 4-7 8, Feeley 4-8 1-3 9, Gogerty 2-6 0-0 4, Davis 2-3 2-2 6, Hodges 1-13 4-5 7, Housman 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 14-52 12-19 41. Halftime-New Hamphire 28-15. 3-point goals-New Hampshire 6-21 (Karalis 0-1, Janev 1-5, Friel 3-7, Anderson 2-4, Vetrano 0-2, Christensen 0-2); UMBC 1-20 (Zito 0-2, Gogerty 0-2, Pugh 0-1, Knight 0-5, Hodges 1-10). Rebounds-New Hampshire 40 (Janev, Sturgill, Walls 8); UMBC 42 (Feeley 8). Assists- New Hampshire 10 (Anderson, Christensen 3); UMBC 8 (Gogerty 4). Total fouls- New Hampshire 20; UMBC 24. A-1,120.