UMBC Earns First NCAA Berth
Retrievers jump out early to win American East title
By Mitch Pritchard,  Newser User
Posted Mar 15, 2008 5:00 PM CDT
Maryland-Baltimore County's Ray Barbosa, left, hugs teammate Matt Spadafora, right, after winning the America East championship basketball game against Hartford on Saturday, March 15, 2008.    (AP Photo/Jamie C. Horton)
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(Newser) – Maryland-Baltimore County punched its first-ever ticket to the NCAA tournament today with an 82-65 win over Hartford in the American East tournament championship game, reports the Associated Press. Darryl Proctor led the way with 23 points as the Retrievers, 24-8, set a school record for wins. UMBC joined Division I in 1986.

The Retrievers made 14 of their first 18 shots as they went on an early 20-0 run for a 28-6 lead. Point guard Jay Greene earned the tournament's Most Outstanding Player honors with 12 points, eight rebounds and six assists in the title game. Hartford (17-16) cut the lead to 10 with nine minutes left, but Proctor made a layup to spark a 10-0 UMBC run.