FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — L.J. Owens knocked down a 3-pointer with 17 seconds left to lift UMBC to a 65-61 win over Florida Gulf Coast in a battle of former NCAA tournament Cinderellas on Saturday.
The Eagles, the 2013 tournament Cinderella that upset Georgetown and San Diego State before falling to Florida in the Sweet Sixteen, led by 10 points at halftime over the Retrievers, the 16th seed who knocked off No. 1-seeded Virginia in 2018.
UMBC trailed by 12 with 16:06 left after Sam Gagliardi hit a 3 to extend the FGCU lead to 46-34.
Owens’ 3 gave UMBC its first lead of the second half, 63-61, and Darnell Rogers set the game’s final margin with two free throws.
Owens and Rogers each scored 21 points to lead the Retrievers (2-0).
FGCU (0-2) got a 15-point effort from Caleb Cotto, with Jalen Warren adding 14 and Zach Scott 11.