Men’s Basketball Falls to UMBC

Courtesy: Courtesy:

WEST HARTFORD – There was 3:35 left in the game. Hartford (7-17, 5-6) had just cut the UMBC (3-22, 2-10) lead to 59-53 after a 12-3 run. Hartford junior Joe Zeglinski, the game’s leading scorer with 29 points, went to the line for a 1-and-1. He missed the front end and UMBC scored eight of the next ten points and held off Hartford 78-70.
Sophomore Chauncey Gilliam led UMBC with a career-high 26 points, including 11-14 from the free throw line, and 9 rebounds. Fellow sophomore Chris De La Rosa was 14-15 from the line and scored 22 points, five assists, four rebounds, two steals and zero turnovers. “He spear-headed a lot of things for us tonight in terms of getting us going, on the offensive and defensive end,” added UMBC coach Randy Monroe, “he had 5 assists and no turnovers in 38 minutes of basketball, that’s not a good job, that’s a great job.”
De La Rosa scored 16 of those points in the first half leading UMBC to a 33-25 lead. “I told my teammates, ‘they’re in foul trouble, let’s take it to the rack and let’s get easy shots,’” added De La Rosa, “and I got most of my points from the free throw line.”
Gilliam took over in the second half with 18 points as the Retrievers held off Hartford and Zeglinski, who had 20 second half points. “I thought Chauncey did a great job going to the glass, going to the basket, penetrating and getting fouled and rebounds tonight. I definitely think he’s capable of getting that for us might in and night out.” Monroe added. UMBC went to the free throw line an amazing 53 times, nailing 39 of them. Hartford was 6-17.
UMBC led 27-25 before De La Rosa scored the last 6 points of the first half, including two free throws after an intentional foul on Clayton Brothers and a jumper from the right of the key at the first half buzzer.
UMBC then roared out of the gate in the second half with eight straight points, the final of which came from De La Rosa free throws after a steal. Gilliam made a three at the 15:02 mark to give UMBC their biggest lead at 46-29.
Andres Torres, making his second appearance after missing 10 games with a knee injury, immediately responded with a three.
After De La Rosa made two free throws, Zeglinski made three straight 3-pointers, the last one while falling out of bounds. At the 11:12 mark the Hawks had cut the lead to 49-41.
After UMBC scored the next four points, they had the ball with nine and a half minutes left. De La Rosa zipped a pass to Shawn Grant in the left corner. Torres went hard for the steal and pulled up before crashing into the UMBC bench and suddenly couldn’t walk.
Grant missed the three and Hartford rebounded and pushed the ball up the court. But before they could call a timeout, Nick Groce made a steal.
UMBC then moved the ball to Grant while Torres was laboring around in rotation. Torres didn’t get to Grant in time as he made the three to put UMBC up 56-41. Torres then was taken out of the game and didn’t return.
Hartford scrambled a 67-55 lead by UMBC back to 71-66 with 45 seconds left, and then could have gotten closer after Adrian Satchell missed two free throws. But Zeglinski lost the ball out-of-bounds off of his foot. Gilliam then made 5-6 free throws to close the game.
Hartford had just come off a road win at New Hampshire Saturday, 57-54, when Zeglinski hit a three at the buzzer. Hartford had also beaten UMBC in Baltimore on January 14, 74-68.