The Retrievers of UMBC continued their road struggles this evening, falling to the UMass-Lowell River Hawks (9-9, 1-2), 74-63, at the Tsongas Center.
UMBC (9-9, 1-2) shot only 40.7% from the field, including just 3 of 16 from beyond the arc. Once again, the Retrievers started the game slowly on offense, allowing the River Hawks for get out to a 22-12 lead with just over eight minutes remaining in the first half. UMass-Lowell would extend that lead to 13 points by halftime.
The Retrievers would cut the lead to six with 15:33 remaining in the game, but poor shooting in the second-half wouldn’t allow them to draw any closer. UMBC would make just 10 of their 29 shots in the half.
Graduate student forward Joe Sherburne was the lone bright spot offensively for the Retrievers. He finished with 20 points in 37 minutes of playing time. Junior guard K.J. Jackson tallied 11 points, but missed several high-percentage shots in the paint that would have helped the Retrievers climb back into the game. Sophomore forward Daniel Akin also checked in with 11 points and secured 15 rebounds.
The River Hawks were led by redshirt junior guard Christian Lutete who scored 26 points on 9 of 15 from the field, and seemed to come up with a big basket whenever his team needed it. Lutute also pulled in 10 rebounds on the evening.
UMBC struggled in their half-court sets all game, and has yet to find a rhythm on offense like last season. K.J. Jackson and R.J. Eytle-Rock haven’t quite filled in at the point guard position like Coach Dave Odom needs them to. Last season, that role was filled by K.J. Maura, who excelled. The team also lacks a playmaker who can create his own shot. This team has relied on defense and turnovers to create offense, but so far this season, the results are mixed.
The Retrievers return home on Wednesday evening to face the Binghamton Bearcats (5-12, 1-1) at the Event Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm.