The NJIT Highlanders and the UMBC Retrievers meet Wednesday in college basketball action from Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena. NJIT is 6-16 so far this year. The Highlanders lost to UMass Lowell in their last game. As for UMBC, they’re 15-10 overall after a loss to Maine on Saturday. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
NJIT went 4-12 over their first 16 games, beating only Sacred Heart, Niagara, St. Elizabeth and Maine. The Highlanders are 2-4 since then with losses to Bryant, Vermont, New Hampshire and UMass Lowell in that time.
In the UMass Lowell matchup on Saturday, the Highlanders were down 41-25 by halftime. NJIT fell even further behind on a 49-36 second-half deficit and lost 90-61. Adam Hess led the team on 11 points and one rebound.
Over on the UMBC side, they lost to Tulane, Princeton, UNCG, Georgetown, Maryland and Vermont in their first 16 outings. The Retrievers are 5-4 since then with wins over Bryant, Maine, Hartford, New Hampshire and Binghamton.
Matched up against Maine on Saturday, the Retrievers took a 38-26 deficit into the second half. UMBC was outscored 46-23 from there and lost 84-49 in a blowout. Dion Brown was tops in scoring on 19 points and six boards.
ANDREW’S FREE PICK
I’ll likely stay with UMBC here. The Retrievers are coming off a bad outing versus Maine; not much went right in that one. The defeat also broke a string of nine straight games with 65 or more points for UMBC. Adding to the drama is the fact that NJIT managed a win 69-65 the last time these teams met up back on January 25 at Wellness and Events Center. That said, UMBC has a golden opportunity to extract some revenge in this rematch. They’ll have to get off to a good start but I think the Retrievers can bounce back and power out a cover.