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Retrievers Go For First Season Sweep at Stony Brook Wednesday
Kristin Drabyn scored 21 points against Maine and is averaging 13.4 ppg in conference play.
STONY BROOK, N.Y.--The UMBC women's basketball team (7-15, 3-6 AEC) takes on America East rival Stony Brook (6-16, 1-8 AEC) Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. at the Stony Brook University Arena, looking for its first-ever season sweep of the Seawolves. Listen to WUSB's call of the game, or watch the game online for a small fee at Stony Brook All-Access. As always, you can follow the game from your computer with Game Tracker.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: UMBC is 7-15 on the season and 3-6 in America East play after picking up a 69-59 win at home over league rival Maine on Saturday to split the season series with the Black Bears. The victory snapped the Retrievers’ three-game losing streak. Sophomore guard Carlee Cassidy tied her career high with 27 points, equaling her total from the last time UMBC played Maine earlier in the season, and she added a career-best six assists. Senior guard Kristin Drabyn scored 21 points with five 3-pointers and is now just two trifectas shy of tying the school record for career 3-point field goals. Freshman forward Meghan Colabella posted eight rebounds to lead the Retrievers for the second straight game. Cassidy leads UMBC and the America East with 17.2 ppg. The Retrievers lead the America East in free throw percentage (.769) and 3-pointers made per game (7.55).
SEAWOLVES UPDATE: Stony Brook is 6-16 overall and 1-8 in America East play after a 71-51 loss at league rival Vermont on Saturday. Freshman Kirsten Jeter led the Seawolves with team-highs of 16 points and five rebounds. Senior guard Aly Young leads Stony Brook with 10.3 ppg on the season, while senior forward Dana Ferraro is tops on the team and in the conference with 9.1 rpg. Senior Morgan Patrick ranks third in the league with 1.77 blocks per game. The Seawolves are last in the America East in scoring (56.1 ppg), field goal percentage (.342) and free throw percentage (.623).
Who’s Up Next: The Retrievers return to the site of their magical run to the 2007 America East Championship on Saturday when they take on Binghamton at the BU Events Center. UMBC is 3-7 all-time against the Bearcats, including last month’s 65-58 loss at the RAC Arena. The Retrievers are 1-3 against Binghamton at the Events Center but 4-3 there all-time.
Inside the Series...
Wednesday's game marks the 11th all-time meeting between UMBC and Stony Brook, and the Seawolves hold an 7-3 series advantage. The first meeting occurred on Jan. 7, 2004, a 53-49 victory for host Stony Brook. The Seawolves won the first four contests between the two teams before the Retrievers picked up a 70-48 victory, at SBU Arena on Jan. 29, 2006. Stony Brook won the next three, including a series sweep last seaon, but the Retrievers got their revenge, knocking off the second-seeded Seawolves, 67-64, in the America East quarterfinals. UMBC has won the last two meetings. As America East rivals, the teams have met twice a year since the Retrievers joined the conference in 2003-04 but had never met previously. UMBC is 1-3 at SBU Arena.
In the teams’ last meeting, Jan. 12, 2008, UMBC sophomore guard Carlee Cassidy scored a game-high 19 points and senior guard Kristin Drabyn posted 17 in a 61-56 Retriever victory. UMBC held a 24-20 halftime lead, but the Seawolves tied the score at 33-33 with 15:20 remaining, then took a four-point lead with 7:18 left. The final five minutes of the game featured three ties and four lead changes, but a layup by junior guard Chantay Frazier at the 3:09 mark put the Retrievers ahead for good, and Cassidy took over with seven of UMBC’s final nine points to seal the victory. Dana Ferraro and Kairsten Nunn led Stony Brook with 14 points apiece.
News and Notes...
For Starters: UMBC opens the season 7-15 for the first time since the 2004-05 season and just the third time in 22 years at the Division I level. The Retrievers are 1-1 in the 23rd game in those years and are 9-12 in Game 23 since 1986-87.
Top Dawg: Sophomore guard Carlee Cassidy is the America East’s leading scorer with 17.2 ppg. Cassidy has scored in double figures in 19 out of 22 games this season, but she had her 13-game double-figure scoring streak snapped on Tuesday at Hartford, when she was held scoreless. Cassidy also has six 20-point performances this season, and she has led the Retrievers in scoring 14 times, including 10 of the last 14 games.
Three’s Company: The Retrievers have made at least one 3-pointer in 93 straight games dating to Feb. 5, 2005, and they have made at least four in each game this season, a 38-game streak which dates to Jan. 13, 2007, against Binghamton, when they made three. UMBC has reached double figures in 3-pointers six times this season, including a season-high 12 against Northern Iowa on Dec. 9, and most recently tallying 10 against Maine on Saturdya. The Retrievers lead the America East and rank 10th in the nation with 7.55 three-pointers per game this season. In addition, sophomore guard Carlee Cassidy leads the conference and rankd 31st in the NCAA with 2.55 three-pointers per game, while senior guard Kristin Drabyn ranks third and 70th, respectively, with 2.27.
Drabyn for Three: Senior guard Kristin Drabyn ranks second all-time at UMBC with 149 career 3-point field goals, and after burying five trifectas against Maine on Saturday, she is only two shy of tying Shalayna Johnson’s school record of 151 career 3-point buckets. Averaging 2.27 triples per game this season, she could break the break tonight. Drabyn also ranks third all-time with a career .352 shooting percentage from long distance. She sank her 100th career 3-pointer 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 50 trifectas so far this season are the fourth-most all-time among Retriever seniors and the 10th-best single-season total in UMBC history.
Cassidy for Three, Too: Sophomore guard Carlee Cassidy’s 56 three-pointers this season are the second-most ever by a UMBC sophomore and the seventh-best single-season total in UMBC history. She has also moved into the Retrievers’ all-time top-10 for career trifectas, as she is now seventh with 87, and she ranks fifth with a .331 career 3-point shooting percentage. Cassidy leads the America East with 2.55 per game on the season.
20/20: Sophomore guard Carlee Cassidy has posted eight 20-point performances this season, the most by a Retriever since Shalayna Johnson scored 20 or more points 12 times during the 2002-03 campaign. In addition, the Retrievers have recorded 12 20-point efforts as a team this season, tying last year’s total.
Halfway There: Sophomore guard Carlee Cassidy scored her 500th career point on Saturday against Maine, making her just the ninth Retriever to reach the milestone in her second season during UMBC’s 22-year Division-I history.
Double Your Pleasure: Sophomore guard Carlee Cassidy had her 13-game double-figure scoring streak snapped last Tuesday at Hartford, when she was held scoreless, but she has reached double digits in 19 out of 22 contests overall this season. The 13-game streak was the longest by a Retriever since Matea Pender’s 13-gamer during the 2005-06 campaign. Senior guard Kristin Drabyn also had her season-best four-game streak snapped by the Hawks, but she has scored 10 or more points in 12 of the last 17 games. Both players bounced back in the next game against Maine, as each scored 20-plus points. Junior guard Chantay Frazier is currently riding a four-game double-figure streak, and she has reached double digits in five of the last seven games. A season-high four Retrievers scored in double figures against Northern Iowa for the first time since Jan. 7, 2007.
Hatten Returns: Senior guard Morgan Hatten returned to the Retrievers on Saturday against Maine, playing in her first game since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on Jan. 25 to remove the torn part of her meniscus. She played nine minutes against the Black Bears in her first action since going down with the knee injury early in the Vermont game on Jan. 20. Expected to miss two to four weeks, Hatten sat out just four games. With both Hatten and junior guard Melissa Book sidelined, the Retrievers dressed just eight players on Jan. 22 at Albany, and only six players saw action, with four playing all 40 minutes in the 56-55 victory.
Oh, Baby: Expected to miss the entire season, senior center Amanda Robinson returned to the UMBC lineup on Jan. 30 at Boston U., just a six weeks after giving birth to her son, Jaden. Robinson could have sat out the whole season and returned for the 2008-09 campaign, but she decided to exhaust her eligibility this year because she plans to graduate in May. In her first four games back, Robinson has averaged 3.8 ppg and 3.0 rpg in 16.8 mpg. She made her first start of the season on Feb. 5 at Hartford. Robinson was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2007 America East Tournament and the Retrievers’ third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder last season.
Sister Act: With senior center Amanda Robinson’s return, the Retrievers finally have the “sister act” they expected last season, as she teams with younger sister Chrissy Robinson, a freshman center. The Robinsons are believed to be the third pair of sisters to play on the same basketball team at UMBC, joining Carol and Debbie Sybert (1979-80) and twins Karen and Sharon Keadle (1979-82).
Helping Hand: All eight Retrievers who played at Boston University on Jan. 30 recorded at least one assist, the first time this season that every player who saw action tallied at least one helper. Senior guard Morgan Hatten recently moved into UMBC’s all-time top 15 list with 181 career assists. Freshman point guard Michele Brokans has proved this season that it is better to give than to receive, as she has unselfishly dished out 57 assists while shooting just 54 field goal attempts. Hatten ranks seventh in the America East with 2.72 apg, while Brokans is eighth with 2.59 apg.
Charity Case: The Retrievers lead the America East and rank 13th in the NCAA with a .769 free throw percentage. UMBC has shot better than 90 percent from the charity stripe three times this season when going to the line more than 10 times and had a perfect 7-for-7 game against New Hampshire last Saturday. The Retrievers went 17-for-18 (.944) in the season opener against George Washington, hitting 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 ranks sixth in the America East and 90th in the nation with an .807 free throw percentage (71-for-88).
What Sophomore Slump?: While many second-year players experience the dreaded “sophomore slump,” UMBC guard Carlee Cassidy has actually improved in every category this season. The most noticiable change is in scoring, as she has gone from 4.5 ppg as a rookie to 17.2 ppg this season, raising her career scoring average to 9.8 ppg. In addition, Cassidy has shot up UMBC’s sophomore record books, as her 379 points this season rank third among the Retrievers’ all-time second-year players.
Block Party: Senior center Amanda Robinson may have missed three-quarters of the season, but she still has an opportunity to make her mark in the UMBC record book. After recording two blocks against Maine on Wednesday, Robinson ranks fifth all-time at UMBC with 93 career rejections.
Delightful December: Though UMBC was just 2-4 in the month of December, at least one Retriever should have been 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. 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, and the nation took note, as she earned honorable mention for the WBCA National Player of the Month award.
Tale of Two Halves: Sophomore guard Carlee Cassidy, the Retrievers’ leading scorer, has a pattern this season of coming on strong in the second half. Through the first 18 games this season, Cassidy averaged just 6.1 points in the first 20 minutes but came to life in the second half with an average of 11.4 points. However, she bucked that trend on Jan. 30 at Boston U., as she scored 17 points in the first half, nearly reaching her season scoring average of 17.5 ppg, but then did not score at all in the second period.
Rookie of the Week: Freshman forward Meghan Colabella was named the America East Rookie of the Week for Week 10. She scored eight points, one shy of her career high, and posted a career-best and team-high nine rebounds in the Retrievers’ victory over Stony Brook. Making her second career start, Colabella made the most of her career-high 35 minutes, dishing out two assists and adding a block and a steal. She also drained all four of her free throw attempts and went 2-for-5 from the field. The Rookie of the Week award is the first of Colabella’s career. She is the first Retriever to receive the honor since Amanda Robinson on March 6, 2005, and just the third Rookie of the Week from UMBC in the program’s five years in the conference.
Honor Roll: 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 with three honors this season. 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.
Against the America East: UMBC joined the America East in 2003-04, and the Retrievers are 23-54 in five years of America East play after Saturday’s win over Maine. All-time, UMBC is 25-54 against its current 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. The Retrievers are also 1-5 all-time against former America East member Northeastern, including 1-3 in conference play from 2004-05.
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. 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 0-5 against those teams with losses to George Washington, Coppin State, James Madison, Maryland and Hartford.
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 17 games, dating to Nov. 24, Drabyn is and averaging 13.1 ppg, raising her scoring average this season to 11.2 ppg, the second-best mark on the team and 10th in the America East. In the 15 games since returning to the starting lineup at Loyola on Dec. 3, Drabyn is averaging 13.5 ppg and 2.9 trifectas per game.
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.
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 - five freshmen and one junior college transfer. The group makes up the largest recruiting class in head coach Phil Stern’s tenure.
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.
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 select road contests will be broadcast live via UMBCRetrievers.com or WVIE 1370 AM (v1370.com).