Dec. 30, 2013
BALTIMORE, Md. -
Rodney Elliott scored a game-high 21 points as UMBC (4-9) defeated Navy (5-6), 63-48, on Monday evening at the RAC Arena. Navy led at halftime, 21-20, but gave up 43 second-half points and allowed UMBC to shoot 56 percent from the field after the break.
"It's been the same story for us. Our last two losses on the road have sort of been the same," head coach Ed DeChellis said. "We really haven't defended and we haven't rebounded, especially in the second half, and that's been very, very frustrating. I thought we played a decent first half. We just couldn't score the ball and that lack of scoring hurt us in the second half. They made some big shots though, give credit to them."
Navy's junior guard Brandon Venturini and freshman guard Zach Fong each scored 15 points for Navy. Fong's 15 points came on 5-of-9 shooting on three pointers.
UMBC ran away with the game midway through the second half by going on two big runs of 13-3 and 10-0 and the Mids couldn't keep pace.
Scoring was at a premium for both teams early in the game as UMBC led just 7-5 after eight minutes of play. The Mids then began to heat up from three-point range midway through the first half as Navy went on a 9-3 run on the strength of two three pointers by Fong sandwiched around a Venturini trey.
Sophomore guard Kendall Knorr's second three pointer of the half was followed by a fast break layup by junior guard Earl McLaurin as Navy took a four-point lead. However, UMBC's Malik Garner hit a three pointer at the halftime buzzer to cut Navy's lead to 21-20 at the break.
Five minutes into the second half, UMBC started a 13-3 run that was punctuated by back-to-back three pointers to open an eight-point lead at 37-29. The lead grew to 10 points at 44-34 before Venturini knocked down a trey.
The Retrievers then went on a 10-0 spurt before Fong's fourth trey slowed the Retriever assault. Navy made back-to-back threes late in the game with junior forward Worth Smith and Fong connecting to cut the lead to nine at 57-48, but the Retrievers closed the game on a 6-0 run for the 63-48 final.
UMBC's Bryan Harris scored 14 points off the bench and Devarick Houston grabbed 12 rebounds.
McLaurin made his first career start on Monday and posted career-high performances in minutes (33), assists (7), rebounds (5) and steals (4) while having just one turnover.
"I thought Earl McLaurin did a very good job for us at the point guard spot and he distributed the ball well," said DeChellis.
UMBC missed its first seven shots of the second half but shot 14-of-18 (.778) the rest of the way. The Retrievers shot 48 percent overall in the game and outrebounded Navy, 40-31. Navy was also just 0-for-1 from the free-throw line in the game.
Navy has had a halftime lead in each of its last three games but has let the lead slip away in the second half and lost all three contests.
Navy defeated UMBC earlier this season, 73-58, in Annapolis on November 23.
Navy will open Patriot League play on Thursday at Loyola at 7:30 PM.