UMBC back on track, beating Albany, 67-62

THE BALTIMORE SUN

UMBC ended a three-game losing streak and improved its home record to 6-2 by upsetting visiting Albany last night, 67-62.

The Retrievers (7-9 overall, 2-6 America East Conference), who had lost 10 of their previous 11 league games dating to last season, rallied from a 31-26 halftime deficit behind the shooting of freshman Brian Hodges and the rebounding of Cory McJimson.

Hodges tied the game at 48 with a three-point basket with 9:09 left, then gave UMBC a 56-51 lead on consecutive fast-break layups. He finished with 14 points, two below his career high.

McJimson, a junior forward, recorded his first double double of the season with 13 points and a season-high 11 rebounds. He was 7-for-10 from the foul line.

McJimson said he was intimidated in the first half by Albany's 7-foot-1 center, Kirsten Zoellner (nine points, eight rebounds).

"But I went strong at him in the second half," McJimson said. "We knew we could win this game if we just played hard."

Free-throw shooting and a lack of turnovers also played major roles in UMBC's victory. The Retrievers committed just four turnovers in the second half and 11 for the game. And they sank 14 of 19 free throws in the second half and 20 of 28 for the game.

"Our goals are to have fewer than 10 turnovers and to shoot better than 70 percent at the line, and we were close tonight," said UMBC coach Randy Monroe. "Cory went to the boards well, and we ran some plays for Brian off screens. He made a big three-point play in the first half. Andrew Feeley and Mike Housman did a good job inside for us."

Albany (8-8, 4-3), off to its best league start in four seasons, had won two straight games, and Great Danes coach Will Brown described the loss as a "bad case of bus legs."

The team made a seven-hour bus ride to Maine last weekend for a Sunday game, and had a six-hour ride to Maryland on Tuesday.

"They had more pep in their step and we were tired," Brown said. "They got every loose ball in the second half and had a ton of offensive rebounds. They also shot 52 percent from the floor in the second half."

ALBANY - Levine 1-4 3-4 5, St. Hillaire 1-1 0-0 2, Zoellner 4-11 1-2 9, Jordan 3-9 4-7 10, J. Wilson 6-13 6-8 21, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Lillis 4-4 1-2 9, Wyatt 0-0 0-0 0, B. Wilson 2-7 0-0 6. Totals 21-49 15-23 62. UMBC - McJimson 3-9 7-10 13, Bilal 4-10 0-0 8, Feeley 2-6 1-2 5, Gogerty 1-6 6-6 8, Pugh 3-5 3-4 9, Knight 2-3 0-0 6, Davis 0-1 0-0 0, Hodges 6-8 1-3 14, Zito 0-3 0-1 0, Housman 1-2 2-2 4. Totals 22-53 20-28 67. Halftime-Albany, 31-26. 3-point goals-Albany 5-16 (Levine 0-1, Jordan 0-2, J. Wilson 3-6, B. Wilson 2-7), UMBC 3-12 (Bilal 0-4, Gogerty 0-2, Pugh 0-1, Knight 2-3, Hodges 1-2). Rebounds-Albany 33 (Zoellner 8), UMBC 36 (McJimson 11). Assists-Albany 10 (J. Wilson), UMBC 11 (Gogerty, Pugh 3). Total fouls-Albany 22, UMBC 19. Fouled out-Jordan, J. Wilson. Technical fouls-UMBC bench. A-792.

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