I really did expect a better outing against Canisius by UMBC’s basketball team than they performed. Shooting for slightly over 40% on the night doesn’t look that much different than what the Retrievers have been shooting per night in the last three years. Where the Golden Griffins beat UMBC the most is on the boards, grabbing nearly twice as many rebounds on the defensive end, which was exacerbated by the poor shooting on the night by UMBC. The most telling stat was Chase Plummer having zero rebounds and fouling out at the 6:23 mark. Without him, Ryan Cook’s 16 points, Brett Roseboro’s 13 points and Jamar Wertz’s 10 points weren’t enough, as Brian Neller’s 8 shots behind the arc only hit once, as he, Adrian Satchell and Malik Garner all had less than 5 points, not the stat line you want to see outside of a point guard.
Following the game, it was reported that assistant coach Jay Greene could be heard from the locker room to the media room laying into his players.
Apparently it worked, because last night’s game against Towson game against a heavily favored Tiger team not only saw Cook lead the game with 22 points, but Plummer and Roseboro, who some in the media say could be his breakout game for the Retrievers, have a double-double, with the junior center having 19 points as well. Even though the Tigers out-rebounded the Retrievers by 9, and had nearly twice as many second-chance points as UMBC, the difference maker was Cook’s 1.000 from the line, at 10 for 10. Though the Retrievers scored only one field goal in the last 8 minutes of the first half, seeing a 9 point lead whittle down to one at the break, it was clear that the Tigers got frustrated throughout the game, judging by the extra-curricular talking and aggression after the whistle at times. It even hurt them down the stretch, as the Tigers again whittled a 10 point lead with 2 minutes left and made it a one possession game twice in the last minute.
This win was huge for the Retrievers, not only for their confidence going into a hostile environment against George Mason this Tuesday, but for stat purposes, as their RPI is put at 300 by multiple ranking sites.