UMBC Downed in League Opener by Defending Champion Albany, 87-33
Harris finished with a team-high 11 points
BALTIMORE – UMBC women’s basketball shot 25 percent from the floor and scored a season-low 33 points against Albany in the America East opener on Wednesday night at the RAC Arena. Senior guard Raven Harris (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne/American) finished with a team-best 11 points and was UMBC's America East Player of the Game.
In a rematch of the 2012 America East Tournament Championship, the Retrievers (4-10, 0-1 AE) returned just one starter from a year ago in senior guard Kristin Coles (Charles Town, W.Va./Notre Dame Academy/American). Coles played four minutes in the contest, after sitting out the first 11 games of the season. Last season’s tournament MVP Ebone Henry led the way for Albany (10-3, 1-0 AE) with 25 points and eight rebounds. Freshman forward Shereesha Richards notched her first double-double, finishing with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Albany opened the contest by hitting five of its first eight shots, including two-for-two from three point range for the 12-4 lead. A jumper from sophomore forward Ashley Lambert (Fredericksburg, Va./Riverbend) brought UMBC back within six, but the Great Danes were able to use their size advantage to work the ball inside and get on the offensive glass to build upon their lead and never looked back.
A three from senior guard Brittany Crowell (Brandywine, Md./Gwynn Park/James Madison) with 7:47 left on the clock ended a 7:02 scoreless drought for the Retrievers and broke a 16-2 Albany run. Henry, Albany’s America East Player of the Game, scored seven of her 13 first half points during the spurt to help give the Great Danes a 23-9 advantage.
The Retrievers trailed 39-15 at the break, as Albany shot 51.6 percent (16-for-31) for the half. UMBC shot at a .269 clip from the field
UMBC looked more aggressive out of the break, as senior center Kim Browning (Mechanicsville, Va./Hanover) got a block on the defensive end and grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled on the put back on the ensuing possession. Lambert followed with a bucket and the foul on the Retrievers next possession, two of her eight points in the game, as the black and gold opened the half on a 6-2 run, 41-21. The Retrievers, who had gone to the foul line twice in the opening half, drew five fouls during the spurt and went to the line seven times.
A pair of free throws from Harris with 7:07 left in the game, broke the Retrievers drought, which had gone on for nearly nine minutes. UMBC would end the half with four field goals made, while the Great Danes shot at a .581 clip from the floor in the stanza.
Off the bench for Albany, sophomore center Megan Craig finished the night with 18 points and six rebounds, while senior guard Lindsey Lowrie added with 12 points and five rebounds.
The Retrievers continue America East action at home on Saturday, Jan. 5, when they host Maine. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the RAC Arena.Dawg Notes:
-UMBC is 3-7 in America East openers since joining the league after the 2002-03 season and is 2-3 in AE home openers.
-Albany has won four straight and lead the all-time series 11-9.
-UMBC finished with season-lows in field goals made (11), field goals attempted (44), rebounds (19) and free throw percentage (.435).
-For the second straight game UMBC made just one three-point field goal.