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Seventh-Seeded UMBC Stuns No. 2 Stony Brook in America East Women’s Basketball Quarterfinals
Brittnie Hughes scored 11 straight points in the second half to lead UMBC past Stony Brook.
Vestal, N.Y.-Senior point guard Brittnie Hughes scored 21 points and senior forward Sharri Rohde added 17 to lead the seventh-seeded UMBC women’s basketball team (14-16) to a 67-64 upset of No. 2 Stony Brook (18-11) Friday afternoon in the America East Championship quarterfinals. The win is the Retrievers’ first ever in the America East Tournament and just their fourth-ever Division-I tournament victory.
Stony Brook jumped out to a 16-5 lead through six minutes of play, and the teams traded field goals for the next five minutes as the Seawolves maintained their 11-point lead at 25-14 with 8:42 to play.
But UMBC scored nine straight points and ended the period on a 16-2 run to take a 33-27 lead at halftime. The Retrievers shot 75 percent (8-for-12) during that stretch, and senior forward Heather Luttrell scored six key points. Stony Brook turned the ball over eight times in the final 7:16 of the half.
Junior forward Amanda Robinson led all scorers with eight points in the first half. UMBC shot 51.9 percent (14-for-27) from the field while holding the Seawolves to just 39.3 percent shooting.
Stony Brook scored the first six points of the second half to tie the game at 33-33 at the 16:33 mark and took a 37-35 lead on two free throws by America East Player of the Year Mykeema Ford four minutes later.
The Retrievers did not score a field goal until Hughes connected on a jumper with 9:53 remaining, which sparked a 9-0 run that saw UMBC take a 46-41 lead at the 7:32 mark. Hughes scored UMBC’s first 11 points of the half, tying the game with a lay-up, then drilling a go-ahead three-pointer.
The Seawolves did not go down without a fight, as senior Jessica Smith scored nine of their next 10 points to tie the game at 51-all with 2:15 to play, but Rohde made a lay-up 26 seconds later to put the Retrievers on top for good.
Ford, who was just 6-for-19 from the floor in the game, made three three-pointers to try to get her team back in it, but UMBC made 12 of 15 free throws down the stretch to cement the 67-64 victory, the Retrievers’ first tournament win since the 2003 Northeast Conference semifinals, a 48-40 defeat of Monmouth.
“I’m really proud of our effort today,” head coach Phil Stern said. “I’m really proud of the way the seniors stepped up. Heather kept us in the game in the first half, and Brittnie and Sharri really took over in the second. This was a big win for us, the team knew they could win and I’m just really proud of them.”
Hughes added a career-high seven rebounds to her 21 points, while Rohde pulled down six boards and had four assists to go along with her 17 points. Robinson scored 15 and grabbed a team-best eight rebounds. The Retrievers shot 44.9 percent in the game.
Smith led four Seawolves in double figures with 19 points, while Ford scored 17. Dana Ferraro posted a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Kelly Watson scored 10 points.
The Retrievers advance to Saturday’s semifinals and will take on the winner of the quarterfinal matchup between No. 3 Vermont and No. 6 Maine at 5 p.m. at the