UMBC unable to dig out

The Baltimore Sun

After watching his star shooter struggle from the field in recent weeks, American coach Jeff Jones had an assistant put together a video featuring every shot that Garrison Carr had made this season.

The tape lasted 17 minutes. Carr's domination last night against UMBC went on far longer.

Carr set career highs with eight three-pointers and 34 points, helping put host UMBC in a deep early hole from which it never recovered in a 74-61 loss.

"We just wanted him to see the ball going in the basket," Jones said. "We kept telling him, 'Keep shooting it.' "

As well as Carr shot, however, the Retrievers' inability to do much of anything in the first half ultimately made the difference.

UMBC allowed the game's first nine points, including a pair of three-pointers by Carr, while managing just one field goal over the first six minutes.

Later in the half, the Retrievers went seven more minutes without so much as a field goal, watching their deficit balloon to 32-9 after a tip-in by Derrick Mercer.

UMBC was out-rebounded, 24-9, in the half.

"They beat us in every phase of the game," Retrievers coach Randy Monroe said. "Give American credit, because they came in, played hard and got after it."

UMBC (5-5) trailed by 26 before mounting a comeback. Led by forward Darryl Proctor, who finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds, and point guard Jay Greene (16 points), the Retrievers outscored the Eagles, 16-2, over a six-minute span midway through the second half.

Carr, however, abruptly ended the rally with his eighth three-pointer.

"The team kept popping it to me and told me to keep shooting," said Carr, who had been 3-for-31 over his previous two games. "That's what I did, and tonight the ball was falling, unlike the past couple of games."

Carr finished 10-for-18 from the field, as American (5-5), last season's Patriot League champion, ended its four-game losing streak.

The Retrievers, last season's America East champions, now must close out the calendar year on the road against Nebraska and St. Louis. Monroe said his team shouldn't expect to win either without a faster start.

"When you dig yourselves a hole that deep early, you then expend so much energy trying to climb back," Monroe said. "That's not going to happen against good teams."

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