Retriever basketball heads to America East playoffs

The month of March is a favorite for Retriever Nation, with America East playoffs on the horizon and memories of UMBC’s 2018 March Madness victory on everyone’s mind.

This year, both UMBC’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will compete in America East postseason play. The winners will then go on to compete in the 2019 NCAA Championships at the end of March.

Tyler Moore ‘20, psychology, and graduate student Joe Sherburne ‘18, financial economics, are leading their teams on and off the court. These team captains have both been standouts in 3-point field goals, and have each earned 2019 Academic All-District 2 First Team (CoSIDA) honors.

Women’s basketball ready for America East quarterfinals

Janee’a Summers ‘21, psychology, joins Moore as co-captain of the women’s team. Even as one of the youngest teams in the nation—with no seniors this year—the team has finished the regular season strong to earn the No. 7 seed in the America East tournament.

Among this season’s most exciting contests, the Retrievers upset UAlbany in a late season game. Later on, with their playoff fate on the line, they won at New Hampshire, 55-47, to earn a spot in the quarterfinals.

The Retrievers will take on second-seeded Hartford in West Hartford, Conn., on Wednesday, March 6 at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ (see game info). Students can enjoy the game with friends and popcorn at a watch party in the Sports Zone, also starting at 7 p.m.

Men’s basketball heads into postseason at No. 3

The 2018-19 season figured to be a challenging endeavor for the men’s team, led by head coach Ryan Odom. Standout guards Jairus Lyles ‘17, sociology; K. J. Maura ‘18, sociology; and Jourdan Grant ‘18, media and communication studies, completed their UMBC careers in 2018. The Retrievers’ phenomenal NCAA success in 2018 also assured they’d be considered a team to beat by this year’s opponents.

The Retrievers’ record stood at 9-9 and 1-2 in America East play in mid-January. Moreover, starting forwards Max Curran ’20, sociology, and Daniel Akin ’21 suffered season-ending injuries in December and January respectively. But the tide soon turned.

With a strong defense, the team earned ten wins in the final 13 games. UMBC defeated eventual regular season champion Vermont twice in that span, including a 65-56 win before a national television audience (ESPNU) at the UMBC Event Center on February 21.

To cap the regular season, UMBC rallied from an 18-point second half deficit to defeat New Hampshire, 56-53, on March 2. Freshman guard José Placer’s 3-point field goal with 2.4 seconds left on the clock punctuated the comeback.

As a result, UMBC earned the No. 3 seed in the America East Tournament and will host No. 6 UAlbany at the UMBC Event Center on Saturday, March 9. Students are invited to a pre-game social in the Sports Zone, starting 11:30 a.m. Tip-off time is scheduled for 1 p.m. Tickets are now available online for both students and the general public

Featured image: UMBC team captain Joe Sherburne during a game against Vermont. Photo by Gail Burton.

This article was written by Steve Levy, UMBC Athletics.