UMBC Gets Back on Track with Win Over New Hampshire
By: Ethan Hennessy
New Hampshire entered Saturday’s game first in the America East in points allowed and second in opponent field goal percentage. Conversely UMBC has one of the best offenses in the conference. The pace was dictated by UMBC. The Retrievers were averaging two points per possession through the first third of the game.
New Hampshire took advantage of UMBC’s exhaustion when the under four media timeout was not happening due to a lack of stoppage in gameplay. The Wildcats cut what was a 15 point lead down to nine when UMBC coach Jim Ferry finally called a timeout with 2:14 left in the half. The Retrievers did not seem to be tired otherwise which was surprising given this is their fourth game in eight days. The Retrievers played Maine last Saturday then hosted former America East foe Hartford on Monday before traveling to UMass Lowell on Wednesday.
Yaw Obeng-Mensa was hustling making plays in the second half for the Retrievers. He put back offensive rebounds and forced opponents into bad shots on the defensive end. Jim Ferry agreed with my assesment on the Retriever big man saying after the game. “I think Yaw has been playing really well for us… he’s been maturing as a basketball player.” It wasn’t just Obeng-Mensa who was making plays for the Retrievers. UMBC shooters got hot splashing three pointer after three pointer extending the lead out to 21 at one point. UMBC got some tough whistles and New Hampshire’s determination kept the Wildcats within striking distance late in the game. UMBC had built up a big enough lead though that the Retrievers were able to pick up their 14th win of the season and move to 4-2 in the America East.
Next for UMBC they will play the NJIT Highlanders in Newark New Jersey. New Hampshire will host Albany.
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