College Basketball Preview: UMBC (20-12, 12-5) vs. Hartford (18-14, 11-6), America East semifinals

UMBC men’s basketball will face the Hartford Hawks in the semifinals of the America East conference tournament tomorrow evening at the UMBC Event Center.  

The third-seeded Retrievers (20-12, 12-5) eliminated the sixth-seeded UAlbany Great Danes in the conference quarterfinals at home on Saturday, 62-54. 

The Retrievers clamped down on defense, forcing 14 UAlbany turnovers, and defending the Great Danes best player, freshman guard Cameron Healy, very well by holding him scoreless in the second half.

UMBC was led by junior guard K.J. Jackson and junior forward Arkel Lamar, each scoring 11 points.  Freshman guard Jose Placer checked in with 10 points off the bench.

With the win, UMBC has won 20-games for the third consecutive season, the first time in school history they have accomplished this feat.

Graduate student Joe Sherburne leads UMBC in points per game, averaging 14.1 with Jackson chipping in 12.5.  The Retrievers have been defensive-minded all season, allowing just 64.5 points to conference opponents.

Hartford (18-14, 11-6), the #4 seed in the tournament, eliminated the fifth-seeded UMass-Lowell Riverhawks, 78-70, Saturday evening at home.

Senior guard J.R. Lynch leads the Hawks in scoring, coming in at 16.4 points per game.  Redshirt senior forward John Carroll checks in with a ppg average of 14.7.  Hartford is 5-3 on the road this season in conference games.

Hartford swept the season series from the Retrievers, winning, 66-64, on January 9th at home, and, 70-61, on February 6th in Catonsville.

Tip–off tomorrow is scheduled for 7:00 pm.

Tom Martin

Husband, father of three. Baltimore born and raised. UMBC '94. Follow me on Twitter -- @martymar1970

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