For much of last night, host UMBC seemed destined to wipe clean the bitter memory of last month's embarrassingly one-sided loss to America East leader Vermont.
Then came the second half.
Leading by nine, the Retrievers at once began to succumb to the Catamounts' potent inside-outside scoring attack, giving up 11 straight points and never regaining the lead in a 77-65 loss, ending their season-best three-game winning streak.
It marked the first time all season that UMBC lost after leading at the half.
"You just can't beat anyone giving up 47 points in the second half," UMBC coach Randy Monroe said. "That was a catastrophe. ... We were out of sync."
Forward Darryl Proctor had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Retrievers (12-14, 6-8), who shot just 34 percent in the second half. Guard Jay Greene, the newly crowned conference Player of the Week, finished with seven points on 3-for-13 shooting.
Guard Mike Trimboli and forward Colin McIntosh led five players in double figures for Vermont (21-7, 12-3), scoring 15 each.
In a game full of momentum swings, the most crucial came with about eight minutes left.
Greene missed a three-point attempt that would have tied the score, and Vermont's Maurice Joseph (13 points) then followed with a three of his own. It all came as part of a nearly 15-minute span in which the Catamounts outscored the Retrievers 39-17.
Joseph and Joey Accaoui combined to hit seven of the Catamounts' eight threes, including five of their six in the second half.
"We made shots in the second half. We made threes, and we haven't really done that too much this year," said Vermont coach Mike Lonergan, a former Maryland assistant. "That got us right back in the game."
From the outset, this one looked to be playing out differently than the teams' first meeting last month, when the injury-riddled Retrievers never were in it and wound up losing by 34.