Crowell and Coles Lead UMBC Past Wagner, 48-43
Crowell with a game-high 21 points
PHILADELPHIA – UMBC women's basketball senior guards Brittany Crowell (Brandywine, Md./Gwynn Park/James Madison) and Kristin Coles (Charles Town, W.Va./Notre Dame Academy/American) combined for 31 of the Retrievers 48 points, including 22 second half points, to help the black and gold snap a five game losing streak with a 48-43 victory against Wagner in game one of the Hawk Classic on Friday afternoon at Hagan Arena.
Crowell helped the Retrievers (4-8) erase a seven-point second half deficit, scoring eight straight points as part of a 12-0 UMBC run that gave the black and gold their first advantage since 14:01 of the first half. The senior guard would go on to score 14 of her game-high 21 points in the second half, while Coles chipped in eight of her 10 points in the second stanza. Coles shot four-of-seven from the floor after missing the first 11 games of the season due to injury.
Both teams failed to score a field goal in the final six minutes of the contest, but the Retrievers held Wagner (1-9) scoreless for the final 6:13 of the contest and to 25 percent shooting in the second half to hang on for their first victory in the month of December.
After a slow start from both teams, the Retrievers drained a pair of jumpers from Crowell and sophomore guard Bria White (Silver Spring, Md./Bethesda-Chevy Chase/Longwood), but senior forward Marie-Laurence Archambault had an answer for both, pouring in a pair of treys for six of her team-best nine points, to give the Seahawks an early 6-4 lead.
Wagner opened up a seven-point lead with 11:49 to go in the first period, 14-7, but UMBC started to chip away beginning with a layup from Coles – her first bucket of the season – and would come back within three,18-15, with 6:51 left in the half.
UMBC shot 26.9 percent from the field in the opening half, allowing Wagner to lead by as many as eight points with 2:33 to go in the stanza, however the Retrievers were able to cut the deficit back to three, 23-20, following a jumper from White, two of her seven points. UMBC had a chance to pull within one or tie the game going into the break, but the Seahawks grabbed a defensive rebound on a quick shot from the Retrievers and converted on the fast break layup to take a five point lead into the break, 25-20.
Coles started the second half run with a layup at the 13:32 mark and added a pair of free throws, before a Crowell trey tied the game at 33 with 11:51 to go. Crowell continued the run to give UMBC a five-point lead with 10:10 remaining.
Freshman guard Jordyn Peck connected on one of her two threes on the afternoon to pull within one, 44-43, with 6:13 remaining, but that was the last time the Seahawks would score in the contest. The Retrievers failed to put the game away, going four-for-eight from the charity stripe down the stretch.
Wagner had a chance to take the lead on a three attempt from Archambault, but was unable to connect. With freshman guard Kayla Seymour (Raleigh, N.C./Panther Creek) making one of two free throws, Peck was left open beyond the arc for the chance to tie with 27 seconds remaining. Crowell was fouled following a defensive rebound on Peck’s miss and sank two free throws to put the game out of reach.
UMBC closes out the Hawk Classic and 2012 on Saturday, Dec. 29 taking on the winner of game two, Saint Joseph’s and Fairfield. Game time is set for 2 p.m. at Hagan Arena.Dawg Notes:
-The Retrievers take a 6-5 series advantage and pick up their first victory away from the RAC this season.
-UMBC moves to 3-0 when leading with five minutes remaining and 3-0 when it shoots a higher percentage than its opponents.
-Senior guard Brittany Crowell notched her second 20-point effort of the season.
-Senior guard Kristin Coles made her return to the lineup, appearing in her first game since the America East Championship game at Albany on March 10.
-Senior guard Raven Harris dished out a season-best and matched a career-high with six assists.