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The Game That Made History

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Streeter Lecka /Getty Images

Streeter Lecka /Getty Images

Streeter Lecka /Getty Images

Danielle Perea, Staff Writer

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  On Friday March 16, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Retrievers became the first No. 16 seed in the NCAA to beat a No. 1 seed team, the University of Virginia Cavaliers, making history, winning by a score of 74-54.

  The game started with UVA player Isaiah Wilkins making a layup, putting Virginia in the lead. However, this did not last long before UMBC’s Daniel Akin scored, making it tied 2-2. The first half of the game continued like this, with each team passing each other up and tying the score 5 times before halftime came.  At halftime, the game was tied 21-21.

  While the tie at halftime showed UMBC might have a chance, the second half of the game was where the Retrievers dominated.

  The second half kicked off with UMBC’s Joe Sherburne making a free throw followed by a three-point jumper assisted by K.J. Maura, putting the score at 27-21. The Cavaliers could not keep up with the Retrievers and never took back the lead in the second half of the game, resulting in both a historic loss for UVA and a historic win for UMBC.

  In an interview, UVA’s Ty Jerome explained, “I guess we didn’t, maybe we didn’t come ready to play today. We didn’t shoot well. That definitely doesn’t help, but only to have five assists as a team is pretty bad, so I guess we didn’t move the ball well, didn’t shoot well.”

  The Retrievers made beating the Cavaliers look easy. UVA had an average score of 53 points this season, whereas UMBC scored 53 points in the second half of the game alone.

Retrievers guard Jairus Lyles scored 28 points in the game.

  In a postgame news conference, Retrievers coach Ryan Odom explained how Lyles’ playing helped give confidence to UMBC.

  “With Jairus it’s all about just reading the plays. He’s got an amazing nose to score the ball. He’s unbelievable. But his teammates have so much confidence in him, and when he gets going like that, it breeds confidence into the other guys and I think you saw that tonight,” explained Odom.

  Victoria Castillo (9), who watches college basketball with her dad, enjoyed watching the game. “I was surprised that a number 1 team was defeated by a number 16 team. I was very impressed with how they played that day and glad that they made history” added Castillo.

  While the game meant UMBC would be the first 16 seed team to defeat a 1th seed, it also meant UVA would be the first top seeded team to lose to a 16th seed. UVA’s loss came as a surprise to many as their previous performances in the season showed that they would likely win.

  

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