UMBC advances past UAlbany

Catonsville — UMBC men’s basketball advanced in the America East conference tournament Saturday afternoon, winning their quarterfinal match-up against UAlbany, 62-54.

The #3 seed Retrievers (20-12, 12-5) leaned on their trademark stifling defense, forcing 14 Great Dane turnover, several of which were on shot clock violations.

The first half was a close affair, with both teams seemingly trying to find their rhythm on offense. The Retrievers would take a four-point lead into the locker room at 29-25.

UMBC, though, would waste no time getting things going in the second half, rattling off six consecutive points, taking a 10 point lead.

Sixth seeded UAlbany (12-20, 7-10) would struggle from the field the entire second half, scoring just 10 points in 12:47.

With a made free throw by UMBC freshman guard Jose Placer, the Retrievers built their biggest lead, 54-36, with 5:34 remaining on the clock.

UMBC coach Ryan Odom slowed the pace down and took the air out of the ball, looking to salt things away.

UAlbany would make the score more respectable by hitting a few long 3-pointers in the closing minutes, but it would not be enough.

The Retrievers were led by junior guard K.J. Jackson and junior forward Ariel Lamar, each scoring 11 points. Placer notched 10 points off the bench.

The Retrievers shot nearly 46% from the floor. Though their 3-point shooting wasn’t stellar, they sank enough of them to keep the UAlbany defense honest.

Jackson was once again a catalyst with dribble penetration. UMBC outscored UAlbany, 30-22 in the paint.

The Great Danes were led by freshman forward Malachi De Sousa who recorded a game-high 15 points. Junior guard Ahmad Clark came off the bench and contributed 12 points in a losing effort.

The victory marked the 20th of the season for the Retrievers, the third consecutive year they’ve reached the 20-win mark.

UMBC will take on the fourth seeded Hartford Hawks at home Tuesday evening in the tournament semifinals.

Tom Martin

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

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