The UMBC Retrievers have now won four of their last five games after a 71-67 win in their first conference game of the season against University of New Hampshire Wildcats.
After a sloppy 0-2 start, UMBC now moves to 10-6 on the season, putting them in first place in the America East Conference.
Statistically speaking, the Wildcats had the better game. The Wildcats had a slightly better FG and 3pt percentage, they had more assists and they even outrebounded the Retrievers by 7. In fact, the Wildcats went into the second half with a 36-31 lead.
But the second half turned into the Jairus Lyles show as he got going offensively. Lyles in the first half had only 8 points but came alive in the second half with 19. Lyles finished the game with a game-high 27 points to go along with his 5 assists. Lyles either scored or assisted on 54% of the team’s points.
Arkel Lamar also had a hell of a game offensively. Lamar got hot behind the arc and never cooled down finishing the game 4-4 from downtown leading to his 20 total points. Lamar was also the leading rebounder for the Retrievers with 10.
While Lyles and Lamar were busy on the offensive side, KJ Maura who missed a few games to start the season, got it done for the Retrievers on defense. The Retrievers had a season-high 13 steals against the Wildcats, of those 13, 7 belonged to Maura! UMBC forced 18 total turnovers leading to 23 points off those turnovers.
The Retrievers continue conference play this Saturday against the 9-5 Vermont Catamounts.