The Washington Times - December 7, 2012, 12:21PM

Looking back at Thursday night’s action …

FORTUNES RISING, TEAM

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American. The Eagles were well-served to return to the court just two days after Tuesday’s 55-50 loss at Howard. And while they weren’t perfect, they did manage to outlast UMBC 73-70 in overtime.

“We didn’t battle as hard as we needed to to win and we thought it was going to come easy, which it obviously didn’t,” guard Daniel Munoz said of the Howard loss. “Today we battled from the get-go, which was good. When things got hard, we battled back. Against Howard, we didn’t.”

American isn’t quite as dynamic as it was a year ago, when Charles Hinkle and Troy Brewer could create scoring opportunities through penetration. But it was welcome for the Eagles to see both Munoz and John Schoof set career-bests with 19 points.

FORTUNES RISING, INDIVIDUAL

Ryan Cook, UMBC. The senior, a former walk-on by way of Division II Chestnut Hill, probably won’t generate much attention this season simply because of the struggles of his team. But in three chances to see the Retrievers over the last eight nights, Cook has stood out for his determined play.

He’s second in the America East in scoring (17.4) after last night’s 24-point game. More remarkably, he is sixth in his conference in rebounding at 7.1 boards a game … and he’s 6-foot-2. He’s also third in the league in offensive rebounds (3.0) and fourth in free throw percentage (.850).

NIGHTLY DECLINER

Howard’s first-half defense. William & Mary shot 14 of 22 (63.6 percent) from the floor before the break, building an eight-point edge Howard could never erase in a 78-69 loss in Williamsburg. The Bison fell to 2-8 heading into their exams break; they’ll play host to Liberty on Dec. 15.

NIGHTLY NUMBER

8

Points scored in two overtime periods by UMBC – with forward Chase Plummer providing them all. The junior had only four points in the first 36 minutes, but provided the Retrievers with 12 of their final 14 points.

TONIGHT

Navy (5-5) visits Mount St. Mary’s (3-3) in a meeting of much-improved in-state teams. … Further afield, Virginia Commonwealth (5-3) meets former CAA rival Old Dominion (1-7) in Norfolk. The struggling Monarchs are coming off an 80-53 flogging at the hands of Richmond.

Patrick Stevens