White Resets Career-Highs, UMBC Drops Heartbreaker at UNH, 63-62
White resets career-highs
DURHAM, N.H. – UMBC received career-highs of 22 points and nine rebounds from sophomore guard Bria White (Silver Spring, Md./Bethesda-Chevy Chase/Longwood), but New Hampshire shot 60.9 percent from the floor in the second half to steal one away from the Retrievers, 63-62, in Wednesday night’s America East women’s basketball contest inside Lundholm Gym.
White earned her second-straight America East Player of the Game honor and was one of three Retrievers to finish in double-digit points. Senior guard Brittany Crowell (Brandywine, Md./Gwynn Park/James Madison) finished with 17 points, while classmate Raven Harris (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne/American) chipped in 13 points, five rebounds and four steals. UNH’s senior forward Morgan Frame grabbed the game’s only double-double, 20 points and 12 rebounds, to garner her team’s Player of the Game recognition.
In a game that featured 11 ties and 11 lead changes, UMBC found an inopportune time to go on a scoring drought, however, despite being held without a field goal since the 5:50 mark of the second half, the Retrievers found themselves down by just three points, 57-54, with 1:01 to go. A pair of Crowell free throws would bring the black and gold within one, 57-56, with 31 seconds remaining, but UMBC had two costly turnovers in the final 20 seconds – two of the Retrievers’ season-low seven turnovers in the game – and the Wildcats’ Elizabeth Belanger was able to hit a critical free throw with seven seconds to go to hang on for the victory.
UMBC (5-11, 1-2 AE) falls for the second time in three games, while New Hampshire (6-9, 1-2 AE) avenges last season’s 59-57 loss to the Retrievers in the America East Conference Quarterfinals and picks up its first league win of the season.
White continued where she left off against Maine on Saturday, scoring nine of the Retrievers first 11 points, including a three that tied the game at 11 at the 12:06 mark of the first half. Classmate Ashley Lambert (Fredericksburg, Va./Riverbend) provided some assistance, scoring four-straight points off the bench to tie the game, before White grabbed an offensive board and banked home the put back to give UMBC its first lead since the opening bucket, 17-15.
UNH senior forward Morgan Frame knotted the game at 20 on a free throw, one of her game-high 13 points in the first stanza. From there Crowell took over for the Retrievers’ offense, scoring the black and gold’s next 10 points over a 3:43 span, to give UMBC a 30-26 lead at the break.
UMBC fell behind 42-39 on a layup from senior guard Cari Reed, but the Retrievers responded with a 10-2 run, behind five points from Harris, to take a five point advantage, 49-44. The black and gold would score just five points over the next 10 minutes, to allow the Wildcats to get back out in front.
The Retrievers fouled sophomore guard Ariel Gaston following Crowell’s free throws with 31 seconds remaining. Gaston made the front end of a one-and-one, but UMBC gave the ball right back after pulling down the defensive board. Reed connected on both free throws to put UNH up four, 60-56. The Retrievers turned over the ball again with 13 seconds left, allowing Reed to two more free throws.
Harris pulled up for the quick three and connected with 10 seconds to go, cutting the deficit to 62-59. The Retrievers put Belanger on the line, who hit one-of-two from the charity stripe, which proved to be the game, as Harris came down and drained her second three from just inside the half court line with one second left.
The Retrievers continue a three-game road trip on Saturday, Jan. 13, when they take on Vermont in the first game of a doubleheader at Patrick Gymnasium. Game time for the women’s game is noon, followed by the UMBC men taking on the Catamount men.
-UMBC still holds an 11-9 advantage in the all-time series.
-The Retrievers finished the game with seven threes, the most shots from beyond the arc since they finished with eight against Loyola on Nov. 17. UMBC shot at a .412 clip from three, its highest percentage of the season from beyond the arc.
-UMBC fell for the first time this season when leading at the break.
-The black and gold are 0-7 on the road this season.
-The Retrievers scored over 50 points in back-to-back games for the first time since November (78 points vs. Eastern, 57 points vs. American).