Lyles scores 18 in UMBC’s 1st postseason win in 4 years

BALTIMORE (AP) Jairus Lyles scored 18 points and had five steals and Maryland-Baltimore County used a second-half surge to break a string of four straight post-season losses with an 89-77 defeat of UMass-Lowell in an America East Conference quarterfinal on Saturday.

The game was the first tournament game UMBC has hosted at the four-year-old RAC Center. The second-seeded Retrievers (22-10) advance to the AEC semifinal round Tuesday.

Daniel Akin opened the second half with three consecutive layups as the Retrievers erased a 12-point deficit, scoring 51 points in the half. Lyles scored 16 of his points and made four of his steals after the break. K.J. Maura drained a 3 with 14:31 remaining to put UMBC ahead for the rest of the game.

The Retrievers turned 13 UMass-Lowell turnovers into 27 points.

Jourdan Grant and Maura scored 16 each for UMBC, Maura with seven assists.

UMass Lowell (12-18) advanced to the tournament as the No. 7 seed in its first year of postseason eligibility in Division I. The River Hawks were led by 18 points and 16 rebounds from Jahad Thomas.