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Women's Basketball Hosts Mount St. Mary's in Second Game of UMBC Hoops Doubleheader Saturday
Morgan Hatten leads the Retrievers with 7.0 rpg.
BALTIMORE--The UMBC women's basketball team (1-4) will host in-state rival Mount St. Mary's (1-2) Saturday afternoon in the second game of a Retriever hoops doubleheader at the RAC Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. but subject to change depending on the UMBC men's game against George Washington. Watch the game live on UMBC's new multimedia website, www.umbcretrievers.tv, or listen to play-by-play announcers Troy Green and Paul Mittermeier call the game on WVIE 1370 AM or www.v1370.com. As always, you can follow the action from your computer with LiveStats.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: UMBC has dropped three in a row and opens the season 1-4 for the first time since the 1994-95 season. The Retrievers dropped a 58-57 heartbreaker to George Mason on Wednesday afternoon. Sophomore guard Carlee Cassidy scored 17 points in the loss, while junior center MacKenzie Butler added 10 points and seven rebounds. Cassidy leads the Retrievers in scoring with 14.6 ppg, while senior guard Morgan Hatten has posted a team-best 7.0 rpg.
MOUNT UPDATE: Mount St. Maryís is 1-2 on the season after an 82-31 loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Sophomore Hasannah Oliver paced the Mount with 11 points and six rebounds in the loss. Junior guard Brianna Gauthier leads Mount St. Maryís with 10.3 ppg, while Freshman guard Mary Dunn is tops with 9.7 rpg. The Mount were picked to finish eighth in the Northeast Conference. Senior guard Tiffany Green is the two-time defending NEC Defensive Player of the Year.
Whoís Up Next: The Retrievers head to Newark, N.J., to take on NJIT. Last season, UMBC defeated the Highlanders, 78-51, in a post-Thanksgiving tilt at the RAC Arena.
Inside the Series: Saturday's game marks the 37th all-time meeting between UMBC and Mount St. Maryís, and the Mountaineers hold a 28-8 series advantage. The first meeting occurred on Feb. 24, 1975, a 52-34 victory for the host Retrievers. The teams have met nearly every season, including twice a year as members of the Mason-Dixon Conference from 1984-86 and as Northeast Conference opponents from 1999-2003. The Retrieversí last win came on Nov. 21, 2004, a 59-55 victory in the Retriever Tip-Off Tournament. Mount St. Mary's is UMBC's second-most-frequent opponent; Towson is first. Last season, the Mount defeated UMBC, 61-48, on Dec. 17, 2006, in Emmitsburg, Md. UMBC senior forward Sharri Rohde led the Retrievers with 20 points and nine rebounds, while Mount forward Dominique Mazzuchi scored 19 of her 22 points in the first half and drilled six 3-pointers.
News and Notes...
For Starters: UMBC opens the season 1-4 for first time since the 1994-95 season and the only the third time in 22 years at the Division I level. The Retrievers are 1-1 in the sixth game of the season in those two years, and 6-15 in Game 6 since 1986-87. UMBCís three-game losing streak is the longest since the Retrievers lost four in a row from Jan. 24-Feb. 7, 2007.
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.
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.
Turning the Page: After playing sparingly during her first two seasons at UMBC, junior guard Melissa Book has averaged 20.8 minutes per game this season, including a career-high 30 against James Madison, when she scored a career-best 14 points and went a perfect 4-for-4 from 3-point range to lead the Retrievers. She doubled her previous career total of trifectas (4) in just one game. Book is averaging 6.0 ppg and has doubled her previous career average of 0.7 ppg to 1.4 ppg. Her .529 field goal percentage (9-for-17), .667 three-point percentage (8-for-12) and eight trifectas lead the Retrievers.
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 year. Cassidy has scored in double figures in four out of five games this season and leads the Retrievers with 14.6 ppg.
Cleaning the Glass: Senior guard Morgan Hatten pulled down 15 rebounds against Rider on Nov. 11, 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.
Threeís Company: The Retrievers have made at least one 3-pointer in 76 straight games dating to Feb. 5, 2005, and they have made at least four in each game this season, including a season-high nine against James Madison.
Drabyn for Three: Senior guard Kristin Drabyn ranks sixth all-time at UMBC with 102 career 3-point field goals and third with a career .334 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. Cassidy made 13 free throws in a row before missing her first attempt at Coppin State. She is now 20-for-21 (.952) from the foul line on the season, the fourth-best mark in the America East, and the Retrieversí .787 mark (59-for-75) from the charity stripe is second-best in the conference.
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. Included in that group is freshman point guard Michele Brokans, who has started every game so far this season and was the first freshman to start a season opener since Sharri Rohde in 2003-04; and junior guard Chantay Frazier, who is averaging 25.6 minutes off the bench and ranks second on the team with 9.8 ppg.
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). So far UMBC is 0-3 against those teams with losses to George Washington, Coppin State and James Madison.
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). So far UMBC is 0-1 against its in-state rivals after a 75-43 loss at Coppin State.
Guard Dogs: With just four players taller than 6-feet, the Retrievers frequently employ a four-guard lineup around junior center MacKenzie Butler.
Frazierís Tribe: Junior guard Chantay Frazier is a full-blooded Choctaw Indian who lives on the Choctaw Reservation in Carthage, Miss. Frazier is believed to be UMBCís first full-blooded American Indian student-athlete.
Protecting the Ball: After averaging 23.3 turnovers in the first three games this season, including 25 against Coppin State, the most since committing 26 against Maine on Feb. 22, 2004, the Retrievers have committed just seven miscues in each of the last two games. UMBC finished the 2006-07 season ranking 12th in the nation with just 14.2 turnovers per game, and the Retrievers forced an average of 3.12 more turnovers per game than they committed, the third-best margin in the conference. The Retrievers also ranked 31st in the NCAA in assist-to-turnover ratio (0.98).
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.
Banner Night: The Retrievers unveiled their America East Championship banner before the season opener against George Washington with a pregame ceremony that featured the return of many departed players from the championship team.
Against the NEC: A member of the Nortehast Conference from 1999-2003, UMBC is 62-83 all-time against NEC opponents, inlcuding 32-40 while members of the league. The Retrievers have a winning record against Central Connecticut State (11-8), Long Island (5-4), Robert Morris (6-5) and St. Francis (N.Y.) (8-1), with the most wins (11) coming against Central Connecticut State and the most losses (28) against in-state rival Mount St. Maryís. UMBC had defeated each team at least twice.
Retrievers Ink Three: Three high school seniors have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Retrievers in the fall of 2008. Michelle Kurowski is a 5-8 guard from Hicksville High School in Hicksville, N.Y., where she is a three-time All-Nassau County and All-Long Island honoree and was the Most Outstanding Player of the Nassau County playoffs after leading Hicksville to the county championship. Katie Brooks, a 5-9 guard out of Heritage High School in Maryville, Tenn., is the third all-time leading scorer in school history and was named one of the top 25 prospects in the state by Tennesse Hoops Magazine. Erin Brown is a 5-10 guard from Walt Whitman High school in Bethesda, Md., who led her team to the state semifinals last season.
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.
Retrievers All-Access: All of the Retrieversí home games will be video streamed for free through UMBCís new multimedia website, www.UMBCRetrievers.tv. In addition, all Retriever home games and a select road contests will be broadcast live via www.UMBCRetrievers.com or WVIE 1370 AM (www.v1370.com). The Retrieversí next live broadcast will be Nov. 24 against Mount St. Maryís.
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. UMBC had never won an America East Tournament contest since joining the league in 2003-04, and made only its second-ever league 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.
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.
Sweet 16: With 16 victories last season, the Retrievers posted the fourth-most wins in program history and the second-most in the Division-I era.