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Women's Basketball Returns Home, Faces America East Rival Stony Brook in First Game of Saturday's UMBC Hoops Doubleheader
Morgan Hatten ranks in the top 10 in the America East in rebounds, assists, blocks and steals.
BALTIMORE--After more than a month on the road, the UMBC women's basketball team (4-10, 0-1) returns home Saturday afternoon to face America East rival Stony Brook (5-9, 0-1) in the first game of a Retriever hoops doubleheader at the RAC Arena. The game will tip off at 4:30 p.m., with the Retriever men taking on conference foe Maine at 7 p.m. Watch the games 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. As always, you can follow the action from your computer with LiveStats.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: UMBC is 4-10 and has lost four in a row - the longest losing streak of the season - after a 67-55 loss at America East rival Maine last Saturday in both teams’ conference opener. Sophomore guard Carlee Cassidy led all scorers with a career-high 27 points. She drained five of the Retrievers’ nine trifectas in the game. The leading scorer in the America East, Cassidy is averaging 17.4 ppg this season, but she has averaged 23.0 ppg in the last five games. Senior guard Morgan Hatten leads UMBC and ranks fifth in the conference with 6.6 rpg. The Retrievers lead the America East in 3-pointers made per game (7.43) and rank third in field goal percentage defense (.388).
SEAWOLVES UPDATE: Stony Brook is 5-9 on the season and has dropped three of its last four games after a 61-49 loss to America East rival Vermont last Saturday in both teams’ conference opener. Senior guard Aly Young led the Seawolves with 14 points in the game, while senior forward Dana Ferraro posted a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Young leads the team with 11.1 ppg, while Ferraro is the conference’s leading rebounder at 9.3 rpg to go along with 9.4 ppg. Young also leads the America East with 2.57 spg, and senior center Morgan Patrick is the league’s leading shot blocker. Stony Brook ranks second-to-last in the league in scoring with just 57.5 ppg.
Who’s Up Next: The Retrievers host Binghamton for UMBC’s third annual Midday Madness on Wednesday, Jan. 16. More than 600 local elementary and middle school students will visit the UMBC campus and watch the America East showdown with a noon tip-off. The Retrievers are 3-6 all-time against the Bearcats, including a split of two games last season. Each team has won two games at the RAC Arena.
Inside the Series: Saturday's game marks the 10th all-time meeting between UMBC and Stony Brook, and the Seawolves hold a 7-2 series advantage. The first meeting occurred on Jan. 7, 2004, a 53-49 victory for the visiting Seawolves. Stony Brook took the first four contests before the Retrievers won, 70-48, on Jan. 29, 2006, in Stony Brook. The Seawolves swept the regular-season series last year, but the Retrievers got their revenge, knocking second-seeded Stony Brook out of the America East Tournament with a 67-64 victory in the quarterfinals. As America East rivals, the teams have met twice a year since the 2003-04 season, but had never faced off prior to the Retrievers joining the conference. SBU is 4-0 at the RAC Arena.
In the teams’ last meeting, March 9, 2007, in the quarterfinals of the America East Tournament at the Binghamton University Events Center, the seventh-seeded Retrievers shocked No. 2 Stony Brook with a 67-64 victory. The Seawolves held an 11-point lead with nine minutes remaining in the first half, but UMBC ended the period on a 16-2 run to take the lead at halftime. The Seawolves tied the game and took the lead in the second half, but outstanding play by UMBC seniors Brittnie Hughes (21 pts) and Sharri Rohde (17 pts) and strong free throw shooting cemented the Retrievers’ upset win. Jessica Smith (19 pts) and Mykeema Ford (17 pts) led four Seawolves in double figures. Dana Ferraro also posted a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
News and Notes...
For Starters: UMBC opens the season 4-10 for the first time since the 1997-98 season and just the second time in 22 years at the Division I level. The Retrievers dropped the 15th game of the 1997-98 campaign but are 9-12 in Game 15 since 1986-87.
Welcome Home: Saturday's game is The Retrievers’ first at home in more than a month. The last time UMBC played at the RAC Arena was Dec. 9 against Northern Iowa. During that span of 38 days, the Retrievers went 0-4 with losses to Towson (Dec. 19), Richmond (Dec. 28), No. 5 Maryland (Dec. 30) and America East rival Maine (Jan. 5).
America East Opener: UMBC is now 1-4 in America East openers since joining the league for the 2003-04 season after last Saturday’s 67-55 loss at Maine. The Retrievers’ one win came last season, a 66-58 victory over Boston University at the RAC Arena. That win was UMBC’s first in a conference opener since the 2000-01 season, when the Retrievers took their first game of Northeast Conference play with a 67-62 victory over Mount St. Mary’s. UMBC is 8-9 all-time in Division-I conference openers dating to the 1990-91 season and spanning the East Coast Conference, the Big South, the NEC and the America East.
Delightful December: Though UMBC was just 2-4 in the month of December, at least one Retriever should be sad to see it go. Sophomore guard Carlee Cassidy averaged 20.0 ppg and shot at a 48.9 percent clip in six December games. She never scored less than 15 points and posted three 20-plus performances, including both games of the Terrapin Classic last week. Entering December, her scoring average was at its season low, 13.9 ppg, but she raised it nearly three full points during the month to 16.7 ppg. However, Cassidy did not appear phased by the calendar change, as she scored 27 points at Maine in the Retrievers’ first contest of the new year.
America East Recognition: Sophomore guard Carlee Cassidy has been named America East Player of the Week three times this season, making her the first Retriever ever to win the award more than twice in one season. She and Hartford’s Danielle Hood are the only players to be named Player of the Week more than once this year, with three honors each. Sharri Rohde (2005-06) and Matea Pender (2004-05) are the only other Retrievers to be named America East Player of the Week more than once in a season. Cassidy garnered the honor for Week 1 after averaging 18.0 ppg and shooting 43.5 perecent in two games. The award was the first of Cassidy’s career and marks the first time a Retriever earned a Week 1 conference award since UMBC joined the America East in 2003. Cassidy then was honored again in Week 5 after averaging 19.0 ppg and shooting 46.5 percent from the floor, including 40.0 percent from 3-point range, in three games. Finally, Cassidy nabbed her third award for Week 8 after averaging 22.5 ppg and shooting 48.6 percent from the floor, including 42.1 percent from long distance, in the two games of the Terrapin Classic.
Score-a-long Cassidy: Sophomore guard Carlee Cassidy is the America East’s leading scorer with 17.4 ppg, and she has scored in double figures in 12 out of 14 games this season, including five 20-point performances. She has also led the Retrievers in scoring 10 times this season, including each of the last six games. She has averaged 23.0 ppg over the last five games, including a career-high 27 points at Maine last Saturday, tying the second-best offensive output in the conference this season.
Tale of Two Halves: Sophomore guard Carlee Cassidy, the Retrievers’ leading scorer, comes on strong in the second half. Through the first 14 games this season, Cassidy is averaging just 6.1 points in the first 20 minutes but comes to life in the second half with an average of 11.4 points. The only games in which Cassidy has scored more points in the first period were Nov. 16 against James Madison, when she scored her only two points of the game in the first 20 minutes, and on Dec. 30 at Maryland, when she scored 14 points in the first half and 10 in the second.
Three’s Company: The Retrievers have made at least one 3-pointer in 85 straight games dating to Feb. 5, 2005, and they have made at least four in each game this season, including a season-high 12 against Northern Iowa on Dec. 9, and 10 three times - against Mount St. Mary’s on Nov. 24, at Loyola on Dec. 3 and at Maryland on Dec. 30. The Retrievers lead the America East and rank 14th in the nation with 7.43 three-pointers per game this season. In addition, sophomore guard Carlee Cassidy leads the conference with 2.5 three-pointers per game, and senior guard Kristin Drabyn ranks sixth with 1.86.
Drabyn for Three: Senior guard Kristin Drabyn moved into a tie for fifth place all-time at UMBC with 125 career 3-point field goals, and she ranks third with a career .336 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. Drabyn’s 68 3-pointers last season ranked second among all-time Retriever juniors and are the fourth-highest single-season total in UMBC history, while her 26 trifectas so far this season rank eighth among all-time Retriever seniors.
Cassidy for Three, Too: Sophomore guard Carlee Cassidy’s 35 three-pointers this season are the fourth-most ever by a UMBC sophomore. She has averaged 4.0 trifectas per game in the last five games.
Hot Shot: The Retrievers shot a season-best 54.3 percent from the floor against Towson on Dec. 19, making 25 of 46 field goal attempts. The 25 field goals were one short of a season high, which was set against Mount St. Mary’s on Nov. 24, while the 46 attempts were one more than the season low, which was set on Nov. 28 at NJIT. The .543 shooting percentage was the highest since Jan. 29, 2006, when the Retrievers shot 59.6 percent at Stony Brook. UMBC bested its season-high shooting percentage for the second straight game after shooting 44.4 percent against Northern Iowa on Dec. 9. In addition, the Retrievers’ .467 3-point shooting percentage (7-for-15) against Towson was also a season high, besting the previous high of 44.4 percent against Northern Iowa, as well.
Long Distance Call: UMBC and Northern Iowa put on a show from 3-point range on Dec. 9, combining for 29 trifectas. The Retrievers drained a season-high 12 buckets from beyond the arc, the most since Jan. 29, 2005, when they hit 13 against New Hampshire. It was also the best mark in the America East this season. The Panthers sunk a school-record 17 3-pointers and shot 56.7 percent (17-for-30) from beyond the arc. The first five minutes of the game set the tone for the afternoon, as the first six field goals came from three-point range, with each team hitting three, but Northern Iowa’s first six buckets were all from long distance. Similarly, Maryland drained 17 three-pointers against UMBC on Dec. 30, setting a school and ACC record. The first six field goals of the game came from long distance, with the Retrievers sinking two.
Seventy Plus: UMBC cracked the 70-point plateau on Dec. 9 against Northern Iowa for the first time this year with 74 points, the most since an 80-72 win at Vermont on Feb. 20, 2007.
Lighting a Fire: After struggling through the first five games of the season, averaging 4.6 ppg and shooting just 18.8 percent (3-for-16) from 3-point range, senior guard Kristin Drabyn was not in the starting lineup against Mount St. Mary’s on Nov. 24 for the first time since March 10, 2006, snapping her streak of 38 consecutive starts. But against the Mount, Drabyn scored 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 3-for-7 from long distance, off the bench. In the last nine games, dating to Nov. 24, Drabyn is averaging 12.2 ppg, raising her scoring average this season to 9.5 ppg, the second-best mark on the team and 21st in the America East. In the seven games since returning to the starting lineup at Loyola on Dec. 3, Drabyn is averaging 12.9 ppg and 2.7 trifectas per game, including a career-high 24 with six 3-pointers against the Greyhounds.
Double Your Pleasure: Four Retrievers scored in double figures against Northern Iowa for the first time since Jan. 7, 2007. Sophomore guard Carlee Cassidy led all scorers with 25 points, while senior guards Kristin Drabyn and Morgan Hatten each posted 14 and junior guard Chantay Frazier tallied 11. Cassidy has scored in double figures in each of the last seven games, and 12 out of 14 contests this season, while Drabyn had her four-game double-digit scoring streak snapped against Richmond.
Trio of 15: UMBC guards Carlee Cassidy, Kristin Drabyn and Morgan Hatten scored 15 points apiece in the Retrievers’ 59-51 victory over Navy, combining for 76 percent of the team’s offense on the night. Hatten and Cassidy each tallied nine straight for UMBC at one point in the game. Hatten’s 15 points were a career high, and she also led the Retrievers in rebounds (8) and assists (6).
Lights Out: After coming off the bench in the previous two games, senior guard Kristin Drabyn was back in the starting lineup against Loyola and certainly put on a show, as she seemingly could not miss early on. Drabyn scored the Retrievers’ first 12 points of the game on four 3-pointers. She had 17 points by halftime, surpassing her previous season high of 15 against Mount St. Mary’s, and she finished with a career-high 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including 6-of-10 from 3-point range. The six trifectas equal her career high, which she set last season against Texas State, and are also the best mark in the America East this season. Drabyn combined with sophomore guard Carlee Cassidy (17) to score 41 of the team’s 56 points in the game (73.2 percent).
Tenacious D: The Retrievers’ defense reached levels against Mount St. Mary’s not seen at UMBC in more than a decade. The Retrievers held the Mountaineers to 40 points, the fewest UMBC has allowed since Feb. 1, 2006, when Binghamton scored 37 in a 63-37 Retriever win. In addition, the Mountaineers’ 11 field goals and .200 shooting percentage are the lowest allowed by UMBC in at least 10 years and not far off the school records of nine field goals (Hood, 1981) and 17.3 percent (Bowie State, 1985). After allowing Towson to shoot 59.3 percent in the first half on Dec. 19, UMBC limited the Tigers to just five field goals and 22.7 percent shooting in the second period. The Retrievers rank third in the America East in field goal percentage defense (.388).
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. Hatten’s 6.7 rpg this season lead the Retrievers and rank fifth in the America East.
Cleaning the Glass, Part II: UMBC posted 44 rebounds against Mount St. Mary’s on Nov. 24, the most since tallying 46 boards against NJIT on Nov. 26, 2006, and the Retrievers won the rebounding battle, 44-39, for the first time all season.
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’s performance remains the top mark in the America East this season. Cassidy equaled her total free throws from last season after going to the line only 11 times in 2006-07. The Retrievers’ .741 free throw percentage ranks second in the league and 38th in the NCAA.
Playing Favorites: The Retrievers 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 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 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 Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT). So far UMBC is 0-4 against those teams with losses to George Washington, Coppin State, James Madison and Maryland.
Bragging Rights: UMBC faced six of the nine Division I schools in the state of Maryland this season. The Retrievers had road games at Coppin State (Nov. 14), Loyola (Dec. 3), Navy (Dec. 5), Towson (Dec. 19) and Maryland (Dec. 30), and hosted Mount St. Mary’s on Nov. 24. UMBC went 2-4 against its in-state rivals with wins over Mount St. Mary’s and Navy and losses to Coppin State, Loyola, Towson and Maryland.
Retrievers Picked Sixth: For the second straight year, the Retrievers were selected to finish sixth in the America East preseason coaches’ poll, equaling the program’s highest billing since joining the America East in 2003-04.
Fresh Faces: Six newcomers join the Retrievers this season, including five freshmen and one junior college transfer, and each one has made an impact in some way this season. The group makes up the largest recruiting class in head coach Phil Stern’s tenure.
Hatten’s Many Hats: Senior guard Morgan Hatten has proven to be the most versatile player on the Retrievers’ roster, as she has played nearly every position in her four years in a UMBC uniform. Hatten ranks in the top 10 in the conference in rebounding, assists, blocks, steals, minutes played and assist-to-turnover ratio.
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.
Frazier’s 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 UMBC’s first full-blooded American Indian student-athlete. In addition, based on responses from sports information directors throughout the country, Frazier is one of just 10 Native American women playing Division I basketball.
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 title team.
Against the America East: UMBC joined the America East in 2003-04, and the Retrievers are 19-46 in five years of America East play after last Saturday’s loss at Maine. All-time, UMBC is 22-49 against its America East opponents, including games played against them before they were conference rivals, as well as games played in the America East Championships, which do not count as league games.
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.
Retrievers All-Access: All of the Retrievers’ home games will be video streamed for free through UMBC’s new multimedia website, www.UMBCRetrievers.tv. In addition, all Retriever home games and a select road contests will be broadcast live via UMBCRetrievers.com or WVIE 1370 AM (v1370.com). The Retrievers’ next live broadcast will be Jan. 16 against Binghamton and will be available on UMBCRetrievers.com.
Guard Dogs: With just three players taller than 6-feet, the Retrievers frequently employ a four-guard lineup around a center.
Turning the Page: After playing sparingly during her first two seasons at UMBC, junior guard Melissa Book has averaged 21.0 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 6.1 ppg and has more than doubled her previous career average of 0.7 ppg to 1.6 ppg. Her .550 three-point percentage (11-for-20) was tops in the America East, before a concussion forced her to miss the last seven games, making her ineligible for the conference leader board, as she has now played in less than 75 percent of UMBC’s games.
From Captain to Coach: Former UMBC standout Sharri Rohde joins the Retrievers on the bench this season as an assistant coach. UMBC’s 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.
Aye-Aye, Captain: Seniors Kristin Drabyn and Morgan Hatten and junior Melissa Book are UMBC’s 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.