Sunday, February 7, 2010

Black Bears (15-8, 7-3) at UMBC (2-21, 1-9)

Monday, Feb. 8, 7 p.m.
The RAC, Baltimore

Fresh in the Black Bears' minds will be the stinging loss to Maryland-Baltimore County less than two weeks ago at Alfond Arena. At least, it should provide some motivation. The loss knocked UMaine out of first place and snapped a six-game winning streak.

On the line Monday for the Black Bears will be an opportunity to play for first place. Should UMaine knock off the Retrievers, they'd move within a half game of Stony Brook. They head to Long Island with a chance to reclaim a piece of first place Wednesday.

Look for UMaine to build on the Binghamton performance. The offense was spotty (efficient at times and a bit stale at others), but the defense was consistent and did a great job frustrating the Bearcats' top threats.

If the Black Bears can continue to produce points both inside and out, like they did in spurts against Binghamton, they have a chance to extract some revenge.

UMBC seems to be leaning more and more on freshman guard Chris De La Rosa. Look for UMaine to try and cut him off of bit. Stay in front of him and make someone else make plays. Look for Sean McNally, Troy Barnies, Murphy Burnatowski and Mike Allison to have solid games on the interior. If Malachi Peay can find his game, it would provide a big lift down the stretch.

The Retrievers are coming off a 79-60 home loss to Vermont Friday. UMaine topped Binghamton Saturday, 61-49.

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