UMBC made eight of its first nine shots last night against Boston University and took a 10-point lead six minutes in. Everything was going right.
But then everything started going wrong. The Terriers quickly rattled off 18 consecutive points and 25 of the next 28 to take a lead they never lost, and Boston scored an 82-65 victory over the Retrievers in an America East game before an announced 2,717 at RAC Arena.
UMBC (9-13, 3-7) got off to the fast start and had a 16-6 lead before Boston (12-9, 7-2) awakened. The Retrievers then went 8:37 without a basket, later fell 12 points behind and couldn't catch up.
"You've just got to keep playing the game," UMBC guard Jay Greene said. "We've just got to focus on every possession. We've got to make sure teams don't have big runs like that."
What hurts is that the short-handed Retrievers are dressing only eight players, as two left the team and injuries sidelined two more. Forward Rich Flemming (knee) might come back this season after getting hurt two weeks ago, but coach Randy Monroe usually sticks with six players.
The Retrievers received balanced scoring, as Darryl Proctor (18 points), Greene (17), Justin Fry (12) and Matt Spadafora (10) reached double figures, but they couldn't get baskets at key times. Monroe said the team is short-handed but won't use that as an excuse.
"You've got to play," Monroe said. "You only need five to play a game, [and] we've got to keep playing. It is what it is."
The short bench hurt the Retrievers late in the game. UMBC cut its deficit to 66-61 on two free throws by Proctor with 4:14 left. But officials then ejected UMBC starting guard Chauncey Gilliam (Hammond) for a flagrant foul. Boston took over and scored 16 of the final 20 points.
Jake O'Brien scored 17 of his game-high 25 points in the second half, hitting several long-range shots. John Holland (22 points) also made two key three-pointers right after Gilliam was ejected, giving the Terriers control en route to their sixth straight victory.
UMBC shot 67 percent in the first nine minutes of the second half - and lost ground.
"As a group, this last three or [so] weeks we've really matured and gained some poise," Boston coach Dennis Wolff said. "We just kept playing, and we're happy to win this game."