UMBC Looks to Snap Skid At Hawk Classic, Take on Wagner
Harris ranks 11th in Division I in steals per game (4.1)
BALTIMORE – The UMBC women’s basketball team looks to snap a five game skid when it travels to the Hawk Classic over the weekend. The Retrievers open the tournament on Friday, Dec. 28 against Wagner at noon inside the Hagan Arena.
scouting the retrievers (3-8): UMBC dropped its fifth straight for the first time since 2009, in a 51-45 loss to UMES on Dec. 21. The Retrievers held an eight point advantage against the Lady Hawks with 16:52 remaining in the second half, but could not shut down senior guard/forward Karona Roach, who finished the contest with a game-high 23 points. UMBC had multiple chances to drain the equalizer, including a short jumper from senior guard Brittany Crowell with under 30 seconds left on the clock, but the Retrievers were unable to connect. The two teams each shot 34 percent from the floor, but UMES rattled in nine shots from beyond the arc (9-for-14) to come away with the six-point victory.
Sophomore guard Bria White led the team with 15 points in the contest and is averaging a team-best 11.0 points per game this season - ranking sixth in the America East in scoring. Senior guard Raven Harris continues to do a little of everything for the Retrievers, ranking 11th in the nation in steals per game (4.1), eighth in assists per game (2.6) and 17th in scoring (9.5). Crowell is chipping in 9.9 points per game and a team-best 5.5 rebounds.
Head coach Phil Stern is in his 11th season at the helm of the Retrievers' program, after leading the black and gold to their second America East Championship game appearance last season. Following the graduation of 59.5 percent of the conference's highest scoring offense in 2011-12, UMBC (34 votes) was tabbed to finish sixth in the league behind Albany (61), Boston University (56), Hartford (54), New Hampshire (37) and Vermont (37).
scouting the seahawks (1-8): Wagner has dropped its last seven contests, including a 106-32 loss to No. 14 Louisville on Dec. 21. Freshman guard Jordyn Peck led the team in scoring, recording a career-high 15 points off the bench, but the Cardinals sent eight players into double-figure points in the contest.
The Seahawks are led by sophomore Stephanie Blais' 10.6 points per game, while senior Marie-Laurence Archambault is chipping in 8.4 points. Senior Veronick Fournier and sophomore Ugo Nwaigwe are both tied for a team-best 5.1 rebounds per game. Sophomore Jacqui Thompson leads Wagner with 4.0 assists per game, a mark that puts her fifth in the NEC.
On the horizon for the retrievers: UMBC concludes its non-conference schedule at the Hawk Classic, where the Retrievers will battle either Fairfield or host St. Joseph's in the final day of the tournament on Dec. 29. UMBC opens America East action at home on Wednesday, Jan. 2 against defending league champion Albany, in a rematch of the 2012 championship game, followed by a meeting with Maine on Jan. 5.