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WOMEN’S BASKETBALL SET TO HOST AMERICAN ON THURSDAY
Mariana Santos has recorded back-to-back games with double figures in the scoring column.
Baltimore, Md. – The UMBC Retrievers (0-5) will play host to the visiting American Eagles (4-2) in a non-conference women’s basketball match-up on Thursday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. in UMBC RAC Arena. The game will broadcast live and can be heard by accessing the Teamline link available on the basketball home pages.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: The Retrievers moved to 0-5 on the year for the first time since the 1992-93 season when UMBC opened the year at 0-8. The Retrievers lost to Towson, 54-42, last week at UMBC RAC Arena in their latest outing. The Retrievers, who outscored Towson 26-23 in the second half, allowed the Tigers to run out to a 15-point halftime advantage and were never able to fully recover from the deficit. Mariana Santos scored a team-high 11 points while Sharri Rohde recorded her second-straight nine-point effort. Maria Brown and Erin Voss each had seven boards. The Retrievers have a nine-day break between games during finals.
AMERICAN UPDATE: The Eagles are off to a 4-2 start on the season behind the play of Chanel Spriggs and Chanel Hunt, who are averaging 11.5 and 10.5 points per game. Most recently the Eagles traveled west to play in the Fiesta Bowl Women’s Classic in Arizona, where they lost in the opening round game to Arizona, 75-63, before capturing the consolation game with a 60-41 win over Utah State. The Eagles, much like the Retrievers, have a long break in between games due to final exams as the Eagles are idle for 11 days following their last outing against Utah State.
Who’s Up Next: The Retrievers travel down I-95 to take on the Maryland Terrapins on Sat., Dec. 20 at 1 p.m. The game will be UMBC’s second ACC game this year.
All-time Series vs. American: For the third-consecutive year UMBC and American will meet in a non-conference match-up with the all-time series in the Eagles favor, 5-3. UMBC is an all-time 2-2 when hosting the Eagles as the series dates back to 1989-90. Each team has averaged exactly 66.5 ppg against the opposing squad and the average margin of victory is 8.25 points. UMBC has won the last two meetings, defeating the Eagles two-years ago at home, 75-69, and taking last year’s meeting at American, 56-47.
Last Time Home in 2003...The Retrievers women’s basketball team will play their final home game of the 2003 year on Thursday night. UMBC has a total of three games left before the calendars get flipped into the New Year with games at Maryland on Dec. 20 and at Radford on Dec. 29.
Second Of Two vs. Patriot League…When UMBC takes to the court against American University it will be the second match-up against a Patriot League opponent this year. UMBC played Navy earlier this season, falling to the Midshipmen, 60-41. UMBC is an all-time 12-28 vs. Patriot League schools.
Rhode Emerging...Freshman Sharri Rohde is emerging as go to player for the Retrievers as she has stepped up her play in recent weeks. Over the past three games Rohde is averaging 8.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. After opening the first two games with just five shots from the field, Rohde has went 10-of-23 (43.5 percent) over the past three contests. The rookie forward leads the team in rebounding at 5.8 rpg and is shooting a team-high 42.9 percent (12-of-28) on the year.
From Down Town…The Retrievers have been willing to live by the three or die by the three, taking 113 total three-point attempts through their first five games. Three point attempts constitute 51.1 percent of the Retrievers total field goal attempts (221). The Retrievers are shooting 27.4 percent from beyond the arc. UMBC’s 93 points off of three-point baskets is near half of the Retrievers’ total scoring. Anastasia Goncharova has the Retrievers’ most three-point buckets with 14 on the year, shooting 34.1 percent from three-point land. Goncharova scored a game-high 18 points in the loss to No. 13 North Carolina. Goncharova hit six treys in the game. Goncharova buried four more three-pointers against Iona to lead the Retrievers in scoring with 12 points in that game.
Brown Stifles Top Scorers...While the box scores may not show a large number of steals, sophomore Maria Brown has hampered opposing guards in the last two games. Against Towson, Brown limited Tigers’ leading scorer Kacy O’Brien (entered the game averaging 18.3 ppg) to one point on the night and 0-for-6 from the field. Against Navy in the previous game, Brown mirrored Courtney Davidson, who helped the Midshipmen run out to an early lead in the first half with 14 points in the opening stanza, as the Retrievers went to a box and one defense in the second half. Brown held Davidson without a shot for the first 15 minutes of the second period as the Retrievers closed their 13 point deficit to two before a late Midshipmen run ended the Retrievers come-from-behind win.
Rookies Coming To Play…The freshman class this season has put together solid numbers for the Retrievers in their debut, averaging 33.0 percent of the Retriever total scoring. Sharri Rohde, who leads the team in rebounding average, has recorded back-to-back nine point efforts. Heather Luttrell posted a team game-high 11 points in the opener and Courtney Doughman add seven in the Retrievers game against Iona and six against Towson with two treys off the bench.
Santos Stays Perfect From The Line...Mariana Santos continued to stay perfect from free throw line last week, going 3-for-3 from the charity stripe against Towson. Santos has hit 9-of-9 free throws on the season.
Getting The Nod…Head Coach Phil Stern gave freshman Sharri Rohde the starting nod in each of the Retrievers first five games as she earned her first collegiate start at the Retriever Tip-Off Tournament. Rohde logged a season-high 35 minutes against Navy. Teammate and fellow freshman Heather Luttrell broke into the starting lineup for the first time at UNC to give the Retrievers two rookies on the floor to open the game. Prior to UNC, the Retrievers had not started two freshman since the 2001-02 season when current Retriever Matea Pender earned all-rookie team honors.
Rohde Nears First Double-Double...Freshman standout Sharri Rohde almost got her first double-double of the year against Navy as she tallied nine points and eight rebounds. Rohde leads the Retrievers in rebounding average (5.8) and is averaging seven boards in the last three games. Rohde scoring average has also started to rise as she ranks third on the team in points per game (6.2).
Phil Stern Era Moves Into Second Season…Head coach Phil Stern has begun the second season in his tenure at the helm of the Retriever women's hoops program. Stern in his first season took the Retrievers to the conference title game for the first-time ever and posted a 14-16 record. Stern, known to revitalize struggling programs, continues to build for the future, bringing in six newcomers this year and signing three to National Letters of Intent for the 2004-05 campaign.
Retrievers New Beast In The America East…The Retrievers will make their first appearance in the America East this season as UMBC moves into the conference with all its 20-intercollegiate sports. Prior to this year, UMBC spent five seasons in the Northeast Conference and six in the Big South Conference. At the end of last season, the America East had a Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) of 23 compared to 31 held by the NEC (second lowest). The America East’s current RPI for this season is ninth in the country.
Stern Carries Color Commentary...Head coach Phil Stern carried the color commentary at the UMBC men’s basketball game against Princeton University back on Dec. 2 at UMBC RAC Arena. Stern joined play-by-play man Gary Stein on the airwaves. Stern is a master of the famed Princeton-style offense and gave substantial in depth insight into the system of play during WJFK’s broadcast.
Hitting The Airwaves…UMBC will be featured on the airwaves a couple times this season. The Retrievers make their first appearance with a TV game on Saturday, Jan. 10 when they play Hartford at 12 p.m. on Comcast Sportsnet. WJFK-AM, THE JOCK will broadcast the first end of a men and women's doubleheader on Wed., Feb. 4 as veteran broadcasters Gary Stein and Paul Mittermeier will handle the play-by-play and analyst duties respectively. The Retrievers women's hoops can also be caught on Teamline on six different occasions. Teamline can be accessed through the basketball home page and is a free service provided by UMBC Athletics.
Starting From Scratch…With the departure of all-five starters from last year's squad, Phil Stern will be looking for players to step up into the starting roll this year. Out of the six returning players, the Retrievers have a total of 26 starts combined prior to the start of the 2003-04 campaign, an average of 4.33 starts per player. Matea Pender returns with the most total starts after earning the nod in 18 games her freshman year in 2001-02 before sitting out last season with a knee injury. Anastasia Goncharova has the most starts under head coach Phil Stern with four last year in 27 games played.
Taking Care Of The Rock...The Retrievers in their latest outing showed the necessity of being able to control turnovers, falling behind by 15 at the break to Towson with 11 first-half turnovers. With giving up the ball just six times in second stanza, the Retrievers outscored the Tigers 26-23. UMBC had their best game of taking care of the ball against Navy, coughing up the ball just 12 times. UMBC allowed turnovers to plagued their offense early this season as the squad averaged 23.0 turnovers per game through the first three games. UMBC finished third in the nation last season with a mere 12.1 turnovers per game.
No Charity Allowed...The Retrievers have kept their hands to themselves averaging 10.2 fouls per game. As of games thru Dec. 8, UMBC ranked second in the country in fouls per game. UMBC finished fifth in the nation last year in fouls per game at 13.5. The Retrievers have allowed just 6.6 points per game from the charity stripe.
UMBC Picked 10th in Preseason Conference Poll…UMBC was picked to finish in last place in the preseason conference polled release by the America East Conference. Maine was a unanimous pick for the top spot receiving nine first place votes. Boston University was selected second followed by Vermont. UMBC, who is entering their first season in the AEC, did not place anyone on the preseason all-conference team.
Going Global…The Retrievers' 12-player roster contains three international players. The team's lone senior Mariana Santos is from Brazil while sophomore Matea Pender is a native of Croatia and junior Anastasia Goncharova is from Russia. In addition to players from the around the world, the majority of UMBC's squad is from outside the state lines. Maria Brown (Frederick, Md.) and Tyecia Powell (Baltimore, Md.) are the Retrievers' women's hoops only Maryland natives.
Retrievers Ink Three For 2004-05…UMBC head women's basketball coach Phil Stern announced the signings of three student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to attend UMBC for the 2004-05 academic year. The list includes Indiana natives Kristin Drabyn (Avon, Ind./Avon) and Jennifer Ferguson (Fremont, Ind./Fremont) along with local talent Morgan Hatten (Potomac, Md./Winston Churchill).
From The Training Room...Retriever freshman Brittnie Hughes (stress fracture) will be inactive for Thursday night’s game. Hughes' injury occurred during the preseason practices and she has not dressed for a game this season.