Friday, February 6, 2009

UMBC (9-13, 3-7) at UMaine (8-15, 3-7)

Saturday, Feb. 7, 7 p.m.

With only six games left in the conference season, the jostling for conference tournament seeding has begun in earnest. The winner moves to seventh place in the league standings and out of a play-in game slot. UMaine absorbed a body blow with the loss to Stony Brook Tuesday. A good counter-punch would be closing out the homestand with a pair of wins, beginning with the Retrievers.

UMBC, the defending league champ, comes into Alfond Arena off an 82-65 loss to Boston U. In that game, the Retrievers trailed by four points with four minutes remaining when freshman guard Chauncey Gilliam (10 points, 4 rebounds a game) was ejected. There was no foul on the play, but referees went to the scorer's table, watched a replay, and decided Gilliam had committed a flagrant foul on BU's Matt Wolff. UMBC never recovered.

We've seen no announcement on the status of Gilliam so presumably he'll be able to play Saturday against the Black Bears.

Probable starting lineups:

F - Darryl Proctor, 6-4, Sr. ... only AE player in double digits every game
F - Justin Fry, 6-9, Jr. ... 8 points, 4.5 rebounds/game
G - Chauncey Gilliam, 6-5, Fr. ... Last week's Rookie of the Week
G/F - Matt Spadafora, 6-5, Jr. ... 8.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg
G - Jay Greene, 5-8, Sr. ... 7 assists/game leads league
Retriever notes
Proctor (19.7 ppg, 8.6 rpg) and Greene (11.7 ppg) are 1-2 in America East, averaging 39 minutes per game ... Greene (36 percent) and Spadafora are only Retrievers with more than 21 three-point attempts ... Fairfield transfer Rich Flemming, a 6-7 sophomore forward, has been out with a knee injury but is expected back soon.

G - Junior Bernal, 6-5, Jr. ... need steady production
G - Mark Socoby, 6-6, Jr. ... looking to bounce back after SBU
G - Gerald McLemore, 6-3, Fr. ... No. 2 in AE with 58 threes
F - Sean McNally, 6-7, Soph. ... No. 4 rebounder at 7.3/game
F - Troy Barnies, 6-7, Soph. ... FG shooting (.507) is No. 5 in AE
Black Bears notes
Sophomore forward Malachi Peay missed the Stony Brook loss with the flu ... Black Bears must control the boards ... Superior depth would seem to be an advantage against UMBC ... Bears looking for wire-to-wire consistency.

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