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UMBC to host St. Francis (PA) in 2nd round of CIT

After earning their first-ever national postseason victory on Wednesday night by beating Fairfield 88-83, the UMBC Retrievers men’s basketball team have advanced to and will host the Saint Francis (PA) Red Flash the second round of the College Tournament (CIT) on Saturday, March 18. Tip-off is set for 2 pm.

The Retrievers has great balance and consistency against the Stags despite having two weeks off since their quarterfinal loss in the America East tournament. Five Retrievers scored in double-digits with Jairus Lyles leading the team with 20 points, Will Darley scoring 17 and KJ Maura scoring 15 points while Jourdan Grant and Arkel Lamar both came off the bench to score 10.

As a team, UMBC made 50.8-percent of their shots and killed it from distance, going 12-for-29. The Stags refused to let up and kept coming back in the game, but ultimately the Retrievers earned the victory.

Saint Francis (PA) earned their spot in the game by holding off the Jacksonville Dolphins for 78-76 victory in northern Florida. The Red Flash are 17-16 this year and were the runners-up in the Northeast Conference tournament. Sophomore Josh Nebo was named the Northeast Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year and was a third-team All-NEC selection. Classmate Isaiah Blackmon was a third-team All-NEC pick and freshman Keith Braxton was the NEC’s Rookie of the Year and a second team All-NEC selection.

Nebo averages 12 points and 8.3 rebounds this year and against the Dolphins he scored 10 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and smacked three blocks. Blackmon and Braxton both scored nine points in the game. Braxton also had seven rebounds and five assists. Blackmon averages a team-best 13.6 points per game while the NEC Rookie of the Year is second on the team with 13.1 points and a team-high 8.7 rebounds.

Against Jacksonville, however, it was the Red Flash bench that led the way. Three players came off the bench and scored in double-digits. Andre Wolford led the way with 13 points with a 3-for-5 effort from distance while Scott Meredith made four of five 3-pointers as he scored 12 points. Georgios Angelou made a pair of 3-pointers as he scored 10 points to go with five assists.

As a team, Saint Francis made half of their shots and went 11-for-24 from distance. This year they’ve averaged 75.7 points per game and have been dangerous from 3-point range, making eight per game at a 39-percent clip. From the floor, they’ve made 46.5-percent of their overall attempts. They have six players who averaged eight points of more.

Common opponents with UMBC this year include Duquesne, Binghamton, Stony Brook and Mount St. Mary’s. UMBC went 5-1 against those teams with the one loss coming at Stony Brook in the first game of their home-and-home conference series. The Red Flash were swept in six games against those teams.

Saint Francis (PA) is coached by Rob Krimmel, who led the Red Flash to the CIT for the second time in the past three seasons. He is in his fifth season at the school. The 17 games they’ve won this year are the most the school’s had since the went 17-10 in the 1997-98 season. He was the point guard for that team and played for the team until 2000 when he graduated and moved on to become an assistant coach for 12 seasons.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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