Coles and Harris Guide UMBC Past UNH in Play 4Kay Contest, 59-50
Harris finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals
BALTIMORE – UMBC women’s basketball senior guard Kristin Coles (Charles Town, W.Va./Notre Dame Academy/American) shot a perfect six-for-six from the field and fell one rebound shy of her second straight double-double, finishing the contest with a season-high 16 points, to go with nine rebounds, as the Retrievers defeated New Hampshire, 59-50, picking up a key win in America East action on Wednesday night at the RAC Arena. The contest marked the Retrievers fifth annual Play 4Kay/Pink Zone contest, with all of its proceeds going to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
Coles, UMBC’s America East Player of the Game, and sophomore guard/forward Ashley Lambert (Fredericksburg, Va./Riverbend) provided a big spark off the bench for the Retrievers, combining for 24 points, while senior guard Raven Harris (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne/America) registered 16 points and added seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.
UMBC (9-16, 5-7 AE) avenges last month’s one-point loss at Lundholm Gym and moves in front of the Wildcats in the America East standings with two and a half weeks left in the regular season. New Hampshire (9-14, 4-7 AE) falls for just the second time in the last five games.
The two teams missed their first five combined shots, before a three from Harris broke the scoreless affair. New Hampshire responded with back-to-back buckets from junior guard Kelsey Hogan – two of her game-high 20 points – and sophomore forward Kaylee Kilpatrick to take its only lead of the first half at 4-3. UMBC came back with eight straight points – six coming from Lambert – putting the Retrievers back out in front for good.
The Wildcats hung around, coming within one, 14-13, on a layup from senior forward Morgan Frame, but UMBC scored layups on consecutive possessions to push back out in front, 18-13 with 8:14 remaining.
The Retrievers made their final push of the opening half, as back-to-back jumpers from sophomore guard Bria White (Silver Spring, Md./Bethesda-Chevy Chase/Longwood) capped off an 11-3 run for the black and gold. UMBC would take a 27-20 advantage into the break.
UMBC extended its advantage to 10, 45-35, on a transition three from White off a dish from Harris with 8:58 to go. Despite the Retrievers not scoring a field goal in the final 8:18 of the contest, the Retrievers were able to maintain a double-digit lead until the final minute of play.
Hogan kept the Wildcats’ hope alive, draining two of her four threes in the contest on back-to-back possessions to bring New Hampshire back with nine, 56-47, with 46 ticks left. Coles, who finished four-for-nine from the charity stripe missed a pair of free throws, allowing senior guard Jilliane Friel to cut the deficit to six, 56-50 with 29 seconds to go, however, senior forward Kim Browning (Mechanicsville, Va./Hanover) halted any chances of a comeback by hitting three-of-four free throws.
Hogan earned America East Player of the Game honors, while Frame chipped in nine points and eight rebounds.
UMBC takes the weekend off and returns to the court on Wednesday, Feb. 20, when it takes on Stony Brook at Pritchard Gymnasium.
-UMBC takes a 12-9 lead in the all-time standings against UNH. The Retrievers pick up back-to-back wins for just the second time this season.
-UMBC is 8-1 on the season when leading at the break and are 8-2 when leading with five minutes remaining.
-The Retrievers eight turnovers were the second lowest total in a game this season. UMBC’s season-low of seven turnovers also came against the Wildcats.
-Kristin Coles has double-digit points in four of her seven games on the season – two of the game in which she didn’t score 10-plus points came when she played 10 minutes or less. Since returning from her second injury, Coles is shooting 41.7 percent from the floor and averaging 10.3 points and 8.0 rebounds.
-Dana Lewis, who hit two-of-three from the floor, is shooting at a team-best .538 clip during conference action.
-Raven Harris has scored double-figures in 11 of the last 12 games and has scored 15-plus points in seven conference games. Over the last five games, she is averaging 17.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 3.0 steals and 0.8 blocks.