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WOMEN'S HOOPS WINS OPENER, SHOCKS VCU 62-40
UMBC junior guard Jessie Brown scored a game-high 20 points as UMBC shocked VCU at the RAC
Baltimore, MD - - -UMBC junior guard Jessie Brown scored a game-high 20 points and freshman forward Matea Pender added 15, as the host Retrievers defeated Virginia Commonwealth, 62-40, Friday evening at the UMBC RAC Arena in the opener for both squads.UMBC led 28-23 at halftime and extended their margin to 12 points, 37-25, with 15:02 remaining as Pender hit a three-point field goal. The Rams closed to within four points, 40-36, with 10:07 remaining as sophomore guard Cyndy Wilks hit a three-pointer to cap an 11-4 run for VCU. However, UMBC responded with an 11-0 run to grab a commanding, 51-36, lead with 4:22 remaining in the contest. Brown, who scored 12 points in the second half, scored five points during the run. VCU was unable to get closer than 13 points the rest of the way.The Retrievers grabbed a 13-2 lead at the 12:29 mark of the first half behind 7 quick points by Pender. The Rams closed to within two points, 25-23, with 1:06 remaining on a a pair of free-throws by junior forward Kristene Austgulen, but UMBC freshman guard Christine Catalanotto hit a big three-point goal with twenty-nine seconds remaining to give the Retrievers the five point lead at the half.VCU, who defeated UMBC, 83-53 last season, shot just thirty-four percent (16-46) from the floor and turned the ball over 29 times. The Retrievers connected on forty-one percent (22-54) of their attempts, including forty percent (6-15) from downtown.UMBC senior forward Sheila Johnson added 8 points and a game-high 9 rebounds. Brown, who was 6-12 from the floor and 7-8 from the line, also contributed 5 assists, 5 rebounds, and played all 40 minutes.Austgulen led VCU with 10 points and 6 rebounds.