Hartford’s senior guard J.R. Lynch turned in a big performance, pouring in 28 points on five of nine from the field and missing only one of his 16 free throws, as the Hawks downed UMBC, 70-61, Wednesday evening at the UMBC Event Center.
The Retrievers (14-10, 6-3) snapped a five-game winning streak, shooting only 33.3% from the field in the second half.
With 8:31 remaining in the game, the Retrievers trailed by only three, 47-44, then quickly went cold. It would be over three minutes before they would score their next point, and by then Hartford (12-12, 5-4) had built an eight-point lead.
Then with a five-point run under a minute later the Hawks suddenly enjoyed a 10-point lead, and never looked back.
UMBC took an early lead, 17-7, nearly halfway through the first half, but Hartford clawed back into the game, trailing 33-32 at half, setting them up a big second half.
Lynch wasn’t the only Hawk with a big game, senior forward George Blagojevic netted 13 points, as did senior guard Jason Dunne. Redshirt senior forward John Carroll dominated the boards with 10 rebounds.
Junior guard K.J. Jackson led the Retrievers with 16 points, but once again had problems with ball security as he was responsible for four turnovers. Junior forward Arkel Lamar checked in with 13 points, but was only 3-9 from the field.
This loss is a crushing blow to the Retrievers hopes of winning the America East regular season title. Even if they win the remainder of their games, they’ll still need some help in order for that to occur.
UMBC heads out on the road and will next face the Maine Black Bears on Saturday at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 pm.