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Retrievers Hit the Road for First Time, Take on Coppin State Wednesday Evening
Morgan Hatten posted a career-high 15 rebounds against Rider, the most by a Retriever since 1999.
BALTIMORE--The UMBC women's basketball team hits the road for the first time this season Wednesday evening but won't have to travel too far as the Retrievers will visit nearby Coppin State for a 7 p.m. tip-off at the Coppin Center. Listen to play-by-play announcer Paul Mittermeier's call of the game on WVIE 1370 AM or at www.v1370.com.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: UMBC opens the season 1-1 for the first time since 2004-05 after defeating Rider, 58-53 on Sunday. With the Retrievers down by one, junior guard Chantay Frazier drained a 3-pointer with 53 seconds remaining to seal the victory. Frazier led three Retrievers in double figures with 14 points and was named the Marlow Sports America East Player of the Game. Sophomore guard Carlee Cassidy posted 12 points, and junior center MacKenzie Butler scored a career-high 10 while adding six assists. Cassidy was named America East Player of the Week after averaging 18.0 ppg in the first two games of the season.
EAGLE UPDATE: Coppin State opened the season with a 1-1 showing at the Central Florida Knights Classic. The Eagles dropped the season opener to Northeastern, 69-65, before defeating the host Knights, 74-63. Coppin State was the preseason pick to win the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference after running the table in the MEAC last season with a perfect 18-0 record and defeating St. Josephís in the opening round of the WNIT. Seniro guard Rashida Suber, the defending MEAC Player of the Year, was tabbed the MEAC Preseason Player of the Year, while senior guard Shalamar Oakley was selected to the preseason All-MEAC Second Team after earning first-team all-conference honors last March.
Whoís Up Next: The Retrievers return home to host James Madison on Friday, Nov. 16, concluding a busy first week in which they play four games in eight days. The teams have not met since 1999, and the Dukes have won all four meetings in the series. The Dukes were picked to finish second in the Colonial Athletic Association after falling to Old Dominion in the CAA title game last season.
Inside the Series: Tonightís game marks the 17th all-time meeting between UMBC and Coppin State, and the Retrievers hold a 9-7 series advantage. The first meeting occurred in 1972 and resulted in a UMBC win. The Retrievers won the first seven match-ups between the two teams before the Eagles won, 68-59, on Jan. 7, 1988. Coppin State has won the last five meetings and seven of the last nine since 1988. The Retrievers are 2-3 all-time against the Eagles at the Coppin Center. In the last meeting, Nov. 14, 2006, the Eagles defeated the Retrievers, 59-48, at the RAC Arena. Freshman guard Carlee Cassidy scored 17 points off the bench, shooting 6-for-11 from the floor, including 3-for-5 from long distance. The Eagles held a 49-48 advantage with just 3:03 to go but scored the final 10 points of the game for the 59-48 victory. Senior point guard Brittnie Hughes added 11 points, while senior forward Sharri Rohde posted nine points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Coppin State guard Rashida Suber led all scorers with 25 points, shooting 8-for-17 from the floor, including 5-for-7 from beyond the arc. Talia Sutton posted a double-double for the Eagles with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
News and Notes...
For Starters: UMBC opens the season 1-1 for the first time since 2004-05 and the seventh time in 22 years at the Division I level. The Retrievers are 2-4 in the third game of the season in those years, and 11-10 in Game 3 since 1986-87.
Banner Night: The Retrievers unveiled their America East Championship banner Friday night in a pregame ceremony that featured the return of many departed players from the championship team.
Retrievers Picked Sixth: For the second straight year, the Retrievers were selected to finish sixth in the America East in a vote of the conferenceís head coaches, equaling the programís highest billing since joining the America East in 2003-04.
Score-a-long Cassidy: Sophomore guard Carlee Cassidy posted a career night in the season opener against George Washington. She led all scorers with a career-high 24 points and added personal bests in rebounds (6), assists (3) and free throws (9-for-9). Cassidy scored 18 points in the second half alone, including 15 of the Retrieversí final 19 points. Her previous career high was 17, accomplished twice last season.
America East Recognition: Sophomore guard Carlee Cassidy was named the America East Player of the Week for Week 1 after averaging 18.0 ppg and shooting 43.5 perecent in two games. The award is the first of Cassidyís career and marks the first time a Retriever earned a Week 1 conference award since UMBC joined the America East in 2003.
Cleaning the Glass: Senior guard Morgan Hatten pulled down 15 rebounds against Rider on Sunday, the most by a Retriever since Monica Logan posted 16 at St. Francis (Pa.) on Feb. 8, 1999. Hatten tallied 10 rebounds in the first half alone to surpass her previous career high of nine.
Drabyn for Three: Senior guard Kristin Drabyn ranks sixth all-time at UMBC with 101 career 3-point field goals and third with a career .342 shooting percentage from long distance. She sank her 100th career trifecta in the season opener against George Washington, becoming just the sixth player in UMBC history to reach that milestone. Drabynís 68 3-pointers last season ranked second among all-time Retriever juniors and are the fourth-highest single-season total in UMBC history.
Charity Case: The Retrievers went 17-for-18 (.944) from the foul line in the season opener against George Washington and hit their first 16 free throw attempts of the game. Sophomore guard Carlee Cassidy led the way for UMBC, hitting all nine of her foul shots, marking the best perfect game for a Retriever from the foul line since Brittnie Hughes went 9-for-9 at American on Dec. 1, 2005. Cassidy equaled her total free throws from last season after going to the line only 11 times in 2006-07. After a 4-for-4 performance against Rider, she is 13-for-13 on the season.
Threeís Company: The Retrievers have made at least one 3-pointer in 73 straight games dating to Feb. 5, 2005. Last season, guard Kristin Drabyn ranked second in the America East and 89th in the nation with 2.06 3-pointers made per game. Drabyn drilled nine of 18 triples in two games at the Battle at the Border Tournament, including a career-high six against Texas State on Dec. 29. It was the most 3-pointers made by a Retriever since Ana Goncharova connected on nine on Jan. 29, 2005. As a team, UMBC ranked second in the America East and 39th in the NCAA in 3-pointers made per game (5.58).
Fresh Faces: Six newcomers join the Retrievers this season, including five freshmen and one junior college transfer. The group makes up the largest recruiting class in head coach Phil Sternís tenure. Three of those newcomers made an impact in the season opener against George Washington. Point guard Michele Brokans grabbed a team-high seven rebounds and became the first freshman to start a season opener since Sharri Rohde in 2003-04. Junior guard Chantay Frazier played 17 minutes and posted five points and four rebounds, and freshman center Jenny Lidgren added four points and four rebounds in 11 minutes. Then against Rider on Sunday, Frazier led the Retrievers with 14 points and knocked down two clutch 3-pointers, including one with 53 seconds remaining to seal the victory.
Bragging Rights: UMBC will take on six of the nine Division I schools in the state of Maryland this season. The Retrievers have road games scheduled at Coppin State (Nov. 14), Loyola (Dec. 3), Navy (Dec. 5), Towson (Dec. 19) and Maryland (Dec. 30), and will host Mount St. Maryís (Nov. 24).
Playing Favorites: The Retrievers will face four teams that were picked to finish first in their respective conferences in 2007 preseason polls. George Washington was a unanimous selection in the Atlantic 10, as was Hartford in the America East. Coppin State (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) and Maryland (Atlantic Coast Conference) are also preseason favorites. The Colonials have won six consecutive A-10 titles, while the Eagles have won three MEAC crowns in a row and the Hawks have taken two straight in the America East. In addition, the Retrievers will take on four preseason conference players of the year in Rashida Suber of Coppin State (MEAC), Tamera Young of James Madison (CAA), Crystal Langhorne of Maryland (ACC) and Danielle Hood of Hartford (America East).
Shall We Dance: The Retrievers will face five teams that advanced to post-season play last season. George Washington (Nov. 9), James Madison (Nov. 16) and Maryland (Dec. 30) all competed in the NCAA Tournament after being ranked in the top 25 at some point during the season, while Hartford and Coppin State both participated in the Womenís National Invitational Tournament (WNIT).
Frazierís Tribe: Junior guard Chantay Frazier is a full-blood Choctaw Indian who lives on the Choctaw Reservation in Carthage, Miss. Frazier is believed to be UMBCís first American Indian student-athlete.
Hattenís Many Hats: Senior guard Morgan Hatten has proved to be the most versatile player on the Retrieversí roster, as she has played nearly every position in her first three years in a UMBC uniform. Hatten is the teamís top returning rebounder and assister, as she averaged 4.4 rpg and 2.2 apg last season. Hatten also ranked second in the America East with a 1.64 assist-to-turnover ratio last season.
Be a Good Sport: Senior guard Kristin Drabyn was the 2007 female recipient of the prestigious America East Sportsmanship Award. Viewed as the best teammate who always has a positive attitude, Drabyn excels on the court as well as in the classroom, as she maintains a 3.36 grade-point average (GPA) while majoring in interdisciplinary studies with a focus in communication and exercise physiology. The president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, Drabyn is also extremely active in the community, mentoring local elementary school students twice a week, and she and three teammates spent Spring Break 2006 in New Orleans helping Habitat for Humanity with the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.
From Captain to Coach: Former UMBC standout Sharri Rohde joins the Retrievers on the bench this season as an assistant coach. UMBCís all-time Iron Woman, who started all 117 games in her career, graduated in 2007 after becoming just the third player in UMBC history with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists in her career. Rohde was named to the America East All-Conference second team last season for the second year in a row.
Against the MEAC: UMBC is 26-26 all-time against Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opponents. The Retrievers have a winning record against Coppin State (9-7) and Morgan State (11-9), with the most wins coming against the Bears (11). UMBC has never faced Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M, Norfolk State, North Carolina A&T or South Carolina State.
Aye-Aye, Captain: Seniors Kristin Drabyn and Morgan Hatten and junior Melissa Book have been named team captains for the 2007-08 season. Book is the first underclassman to serve as a team captain since Sharri Rohde and Heather Luttrell shared the honor as juniors in 2005-06.
Dearly Departed: The Retrievers lost four key players from the 2006-07 squad, including forward Sharri Rohde (13.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg), point guard Brittnie Hughes (11.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg), center Amanda Robinson (10.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and forward Heather Luttrell (3.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg). The quartet accounted for 64 percent of the teamís scoring and 53 percent of the teamís rebounding last season.
Cinderella Gets Her Slipper: UMBC earned its first-ever NCAA Tournament berth with a 48-46 victory over top-seeded Hartford in the America East title game. The Retrievers upset second-seeded Stony Brook, 67-64, in the America East Tournament quarterfinals, then took down No. 3 Vermont, 67-56, in the semifinals before shocking two-time defending champ and top-seeded Hartford for the programís first-ever conference title. UMBC is the first team in America East history to defeat the top three seeds in the league tournament. The Retrievers were just the third No. 7 seed to reach the America East championship game and the lowest ever to win the conference title. UMBC had never won an America East Tournament contest since joining the league in 2003-04, and made only its second-ever title game appearance, as first-year head coach Phil Stern led the Retrievers to the Northeast Conference finals in 2003, its last in the league.