Virginia forward Jay Huff (30) shoots in the face of defense by University of Maine forward Andrew Fleming (0) during a November 2019 game. (AP Photo/Andrew Shurtleff) Credit: Andrew Shurtleff | AP

The University of Maryland Baltimore County used its long-range shooting accuracy to surge past the University of Maine men’s basketball team 63-53 in an America East encounter at the UMBC Event Center in Baltimore on Saturday afternoon.

UMaine dips to 6-15 overall and 2-5 in conference play while UMBC scored its second straight America East victory to improve to 9-12 overall, 2-4 in the league.

UMaine, now 1-11 on the road, led 31-28 at halftime and still maintained a 45-44 edge on a basket by senior forward Andrew Fleming with 8:18 left in the game.

UMBC took control by running off 10 consecutive points, nine coming on three 3-point goals.

R.J. Eytle-Rock made two from long range before teammate Ricky Council capped off the run with another 3-pointer to give the Retrievers a 54-45 advantage with 5:31 to play.

UMaine closed to within 54-50 on two Fleming free throws with 2:45 remaining, but Eytle-Rock made four free throws and fed L.J. Owens for a 3-pointer before Daniel Akin added a fast-break dunk as UMBC outscored the Black Bears 9-3 down the stretch to conclude the contest with its largest lead.

The Retrieves shot 54 percent (7 of 13) from beyond the arc after intermission compared to just 18 percent (2 of 11) for UMaine.

The Black Bears made 25 percent (7 of 28) of their 3-pointers for the game compared to 43 percent (12 of 28) for the Retrievers.

UMaine’s cold shooting wasn’t limited to its deepest attempts, as the Black Bears made just 32 percent (17 of 53) of their overall field-goal tries while UMBC was at 37.5 percent (18 of 48).

Fleming was the lone UMaine player to score in double figures, finishing with a game-high 18 points on 6 of 11 shooting from the field, including 3 of 3 on 3-pointers. Fleming also contributed five rebounds and two steals.

Nedelko Prijovic and Precious Okoh each added eight points for the Black Bears while Peter Stumer had six points and five rebounds and Stephane Ingo grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.

K.J. Jackson paced four UMBC double-figure scorers with 16 points along with seven rebounds and seven assists.

Owens added 15 points on 5 of 7 shooting from the field including 4 of 6 from 3-point land. Brandon Horvath, 6-foot-10 forward, added 11 points and six rebounds for the Retrievers while Eytle-Rock finished with 10 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals.

UMaine outscored UMBC 13-9 in bench points, the eighth straight game the Black Bears either have had the edge or been tied in that category.

UMaine also won the turnover battle, committing just 10 compared to 14 for UBMC.

UMaine returns to action next Saturday against Hartford in a noontime start at The Pit on the Orono campus.

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...