Rasir Bolton scored a game-high 18 points, and Lamar Stevens added 16 as Penn State rallied after a slow start and defeated visiting UMBC 74-52 on Saturday afternoon.
Bolton is a freshman guard who made 6 of 12 shots from the field. Stevens is a junior forward who hit six of 11 and also pulled down 7 rebounds.
Penn State (7-6) hurt the Retrievers with good shooting in this contest. The Nittany Lions slumped towards the end but still made 25 of 50 from the field — 50 percent overall.
In addition, Penn State nailed 10 of 21 three-pointers (47.6 percent), a big reason that the Retrievers could not catch up once they fell behind late in the first half.
UMBC’s recent shooting problems continued in this game. The Retrievers shot just 35.7 percent from the field after not playing in eight days and getting on the court only once in 13 days.
Still, the game remained close early. A Jose Placer jumper for UMBC (7-7) tied the game at 23 with just under seven minutes left in the first half.
That’s when Penn State took off. The Nittany Lions scored 17 of the final 21 points of the first half for a 40-27 lead.
Myles Dread made three-pointers around a Stevens lay-up to give Penn State a 31-23 lead. Stevens later hit a jumper, and Bolton scored the final five points of the half thanks to a three-pointer and two free throws.
UMBC never drew closer than 11 again. Joe Sherburne led the Retrievers with 16 points in the loss.
This was the final non-conference game for Penn State. The Nittany Lions will open their Big 10 schedule with a road game at Michigan this Thursday. Penn State had lost two of its last three coming into this game.
UMBC, which gained national notoriety last March for becoming the first No. 16 seed to knock off a No. 1 in the NCAA tournament thanks to a 74-54 victory over Virginia, has one more non-America East game left before beginning conference play next Saturday with a home game versus Maine.
—Field Level Media