Hartford at UMBC
|Date & Time||Tuesday March 12, 2019, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
UMBC Retrievers -1.5 -- Over/Under: 131.5
The Hartford Hawks will travel to RAC Arena to take on the UMBC Retrievers this Tuesday night in the Semifinals of the America East Men’s Championship.
The 4-seed Hartford Hawks (18-14; 10-6) kept their NCAA hopes alive and advanced to the Semifinals of the American East Tournament after defeating the 5-seed UMass Lowell River Hawks, 78-70, this past Saturday. In a tight back and forth game, Hartford was able was able to pull away late after closing out the final :59 seconds on an 8-0 run. Hartford shot 48.2% from the field and outrebounded River Hawks by a 34-30 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the Hawks was J.R. Lynch who had 21 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals.
On the season, Hartford is averaging 74.8 ppg on 45.7% shooting from the field. The Hawks are averaging 9.8 three-pointers per game on 38.3% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Hartford has been led by J.R. Lynch (16.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.8 apg, 2.2 spg), John Carroll (14.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.1 apg), George Blagojevic (14.2 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.9 ag, 1.2 spg), and Jason Dunne (13.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.2).
Defensively, Hartford is allowing their opponents to average 72.4 ppg on 45.3% shooting from the field. The Hawks have a rebound margin of -3.0 and a turnover margin of 1.4.
The 3-seed UMBC Retrievers improved to 20-12 (10-6 America East) on the season and kept their hopes of reaching the NCAA Tournament season for the 2nd consecutive season after defeating the 6-seed Albany Great Danes, 62-54, this past Saturday. UMBC led by a 29-25 margin at halftime and had no trouble pulling away after taking a 54-36 lead with 5:34 left in regulation. UMBC shot 45.8% from the field and committed just 10 turnover in the victory. Leading the way for the Retrievers was K.J. Jackson who had 11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, and 3 steals.
On the season, UMBC is averaging 67.4 ppg on 43.5% shooting from the field. The Retrievers are averaging 7.7 three-pointers per game on 32.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, UMBC has been led by Joe Sherburne (14.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 5.9 apg), Arkel Lamar (9.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.5 spg), Brandon Horvath (9.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.0 apg), and R.J. Eytle-Rock (4.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.8 apg).
Defensively, UMBC is holding their opponents to an average of 63.3 ppg on 41.9% shooting from the field. The Retrievers have a rebound margin of 0.3 and a turnover margin of 3.3.
The Hawks are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Retrievers are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record, however, are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS win.
Hartford was able to defeat UMBC in both of their regular season match-ups this season as the Hawks won by a 66-64 (OT) margin at home in early January and won on by a 70-61 margin on the road in early February.
Hartford came into this season with high expectations and although they’ve struggled to meet those expectations as the American East still seems like Vermont’s to lose, the Hawks have been playing some of their best basketball as of late, winning 7 of their last 9 games. We certainly can’t write off UMBC after we saw what they did last season and the Retrievers are once again looking solid as they’ve won 6 of their last 8 games and once again have been led by their defense which ranks 18th in scoring defense and 71st in defensive FG%. As good as UMBC is defensively, their offense has struggled this season, ranking just 298th in scoring offense, and although I think this is going to be a close game, I think Hartford will do just enough on the offensive end and win this game. Take the Hawks and the points!