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WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TRAVELS TO RADFORD TO TAKE ON FORMER BIG SOUTH FOE
Baltimore, Md. – The UMBC Retrievers (0-7) will travel to Radford University to take on the Highlanders (4-3) in UMBC’s final non-conference road game of the year. UMBC and Radford will meet for the first time since UMBC was a member of the Big South Conference in 1997-98.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: The Retrievers slide to open the season continued in their latest outing, falling to local foe Maryland, 72-38. The Retrievers fell behind early as Maryland ran out to a 17-5 lead and took a 36-19 lead at the break. Both teams in the second half matched their first half mark with the Terps and Retrievers scoring another 36 and 19 points respectively. UMBC was led by Mariana Santos with seven points as three freshman and two sophomores started for the Retrievers. Sharri Rohde grabbed a team-high five boards as she leads the team with 5.9 per game on they year.
HIGHLANDER UPDATE: Radford moved to 4-3 on the season after an impressive victory over Garner-Webb in which the Highlanders outscored the Bulldogs 54-29 in the second half to take an 89-63 victory. Amanda Neby, who was named Big South Player of the Week, tallied a game-high 22 points as she led the team in scoring for the fourth time this season. Neby is averaging 14.6 ppg while teammate Robin Kantin is averaging 11.1 ppg.
Who’s Up Next: The Retrievers play their last non-conference game when they host Loyola on Saturday, Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. in UMBC RAC Arena.
All-time Series vs. Radford: The Retrievers and Highlanders, former Big South foes, will meet for the 16th time in their history and the first time since the 1997-98 season that saw the Highlanders defeat the Retrievers 69-57, UMBC’s final year in the Big South Conference. UMBC has lost the last five games against the Highlanders and are 2-5 at Radford. The series began in 1983-84 with Radford taking the inaugural meeting, 78-45. Radford leads the series 10-5.
Big South Foes Reunite…The Retrievers and Highlanders will be reuniting an old rivalry from the days UMBC was a member of the Big South Conference when the two teams meet on Monday night. UMBC and Radford met at least twice a year from 1992-1998 when UMBC held membership in the conference. The two teams have not met since UMBC last played in the conference as this will be the first non-conference match between the two.
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 five games Rohde is averaging 6.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. After opening the first two games with just five shots from the field, Rohde has went 12-of-29 (41.4 percent) over the past five contests. The rookie forward leads the team in rebounding at 5.9 rpg.
From Down Town…The Retrievers have been willing to live by the three or die by the three, taking 157 total three-point attempts through seven games. Three point attempts constitute 53.3 percent of the Retrievers total field goal attempts (276). The Retrievers are shooting 27.4 percent from beyond the arc. UMBC’s 129 points off of three-point baskets is near half of the Retrievers’ total scoring. Anastasia Goncharova has the Retrievers’ most three-point buckets with 16 on the year, shooting 29.1 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.
Retrievers Bench Adds Spark...The Retrievers received some strong play off the bench from its reserves against American as junior transfer Katie Tedder freshman Courtney Doughman and combined to score 19 points. Tedder went 3-of-4 from the field and 4-of-5 from the free throw line for 10 points in 18 minutes and Doughman went 3-of-6 from three-point land for nine points. After UMBC opened the game falling behind 12-0, Tedder and Doughman entered the game and sparked UMBC as they climbed back within five by the half as the two combined for eight of the Retrievers 17 first-half points.
Retrievers Throw Block Party...Despite an average height of 5’9”, the Retrievers have not that let that stop them from rejecting shots as they recorded a season-high five blocks against American. Sophomore Maria Brown recorded her second two-block game of the season and her fourth and fifth blocks over a three game span with two against American. Brown leads the team with five blocks as the Retrievers have recorded 10 rejections on the season.
Brown Snags Career-High...Maria Brown continued to show up on the defensive end against American, stealing a single-game career-high six balls. Brown also recorded two blocks in the game as she has five on the season. The sophomore guard has hampered opposing guards as well. 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. Brown leads the team in steals and blocks.
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 averaged 6.6 ppg over the past five games. Heather Luttrell posted a team game-high 11 points in the opener and Courtney Doughman had a career-high night with nine points off the bench with three treys against American.
Santos Stays Perfect From The Line...Mariana Santos continued to stay perfect from free throw line, going 4-for-4 from the charity stripe against Maryland. Santos has hit 13-of-13 free throws on the season.
Getting The Nod…Head Coach Phil Stern has started freshman Sharri Rohde in all of the team’s games thus far, making her and teammate Maria Brown the only two to start every game. Fellow freshman Heather Luttrell broke into the starting lineup for the first time at UNC and against Maryland Courtney Doughman got the start as three rookies opened the game on the floor for UMBC.
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 (5.9) and is averaging 6.6 boards in the last five games.
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.
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.
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 role 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.
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.
No Charity Allowed...The Retrievers have kept their hands to themselves averaging 10.59fouls per game. As of games thru Dec. 15, 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 7.4 points per game from the charity stripe.
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).