MEN'S HOOPS HANDED FIRST CONFERENCE LOSS OF SEASON
BOX

DURHAM, N.H.
– Junior guard Tyrece Gibbs (Brockton, Mass.) led four scorers in double digits, including two with at least 20 points, but the University of New Hampshire men’s basketball team fell, 86-73, to the University of Maryland-Baltimore County on Sunday afternoon to close out its five-game home stand at Lundholm Gymnasium.
Alvin Abreu

   
The loss puts the Wildcats' record at 4-9, including 1-1 in America East play, while the win moves the Retrievers to 10-5 overall and 2-0 in the conference.
   
Fresh off a 19-point performance against Albany, Gibbs tied his career high with 22 points on 6-of-11 shooting from behind the arc. Gibbs, who added six rebounds in his 39 minutes of work, also tied a career high with the six 3-pointers.
   
Freshman guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) backed up Gibbs’ effort with 20 points, eight rebounds and four assists, while playing an entire 40 minutes for the second consecutive game.
   
UNH, which surprised a few people with its win against two-time defending champion Albany on Jan. 3, hung with what most are calling the best team in the conference in UMBC for 37 minutes. The ‘Cats had the lead (62-61) as late as 8:30 remaining in the contest until UMBC outscored UNH, 25-11, over the final eight minutes to close out the game.
   
The Wildcats showed a lot of heart in the game, twice coming back from eight-point deficits, including the one that gave them their final lead. Trailing by eight midway through the second half, freshman guard Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.) hit back-to-back treys before Abreu, UNH’s America East Player of the Game, gave the Wildcats the lead with a 3 of his own. Conley chipped in with 10 points in 19 minutes in his return from illness.
   
After UNH took a 3-0 lead to open the game on a 3-pointer by junior guard Eric Gilchrese (Springfield, Ill.), the two teams began a seven-minute seesaw battle that ended when UMBC went on a 14-6 run that gave it a 31-23 lead with 4:50 left in the first half. The Wildcats then used a 13-6 run to get back into the game and head into the locker room trailing by just one, 37-36.

The back-and-forth battle ensued again in the second half until UMBC opened its second eight-point lead of the game, 61-53. The ‘Cats still only trailed by six, 73-67, with 3:28 left, but made only one basket the rest of the way.
   
Senior forward Mike Christensen (Reston, Va.) produced a solid stat line by tallying 12 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
   
UMBC matched UNH’s four double-digit scorers, but had three that scored at least 20 points. Cavell Johnson equaled Gibbs with 22 points, while UMBC’s America East Player of the Game Darryl Proctor and Brian Hodges each dropped 21. Proctor also pulled down 10 rebounds.
   
The Wildcats took care of the ball, recording just eight turnovers, which is the fewest amount all season. UMBC turned the ball over just six times, however.
   
UNH also continued its hot free throw shooting, hitting on 16-of-18 from the stripe (89 percent), but was outshot from the field, 55 percent (33-60) to 39 percent (22-57).
   
The Wildcats return to action Wednesday, Jan. 9 when they travel to Boston University to take on the Terriers at 7 p.m. The next home game for the ‘Cats is Monday, Jan. 14 when they play host to Dartmouth College at 7 p.m.
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