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Women's Basketball Concludes Road Trip at Bucknell Sunday Afternoon
Erin Brown has reached double figures in all four games this season.
BALTIMORE--Coming off a thrilling 74-72 victory over Towson on Tuesday, the UMBC women's basketball team (2-2) concludes its three-game road trip with a Sunday afternoon tilt at Bucknell. Tip-off from Sojka Pavillion in Lewisburg, Pa., is set for 2 p.m.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: UMBC is coming off a thrilling 74-72 victory at cross-town rival Towson on Tuesday. Senior guard Carlee Cassidy hit the game-winning layup with one second remaining. Four Retrievers scored in double figures for the third straight game, led by junior forward Meghan Colabella and sophomore forward Erin Brown, who had 16 points apiece. Cassidy finished with 15, while sophomore guard Michelle Kurowski notched her second double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Michele Brokans dished out eight assists while committing just one turnover. UMBC drained 11 three-pointers, including eight of 11 attempts in the second half, and Brown made a career high four of six from long range. Cassidy moved into the top five on UMBC’s career scoring list, as she now has 1,282 points. She and Kurowski rank second and third, respectively for career free throw percentage in Retriever history. UMBC ranks second in the America East in scoring at 72.0 ppg.
BISON UPDATE: Bucknell has won two in a row after defeating Fordham and Loyola at home last week. Against the Greyhounds, guard Morgan Wrightson led four Bison in double figures with 19 points, while forward Joyce Novacek posted a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Wrightson leads the Bison with 14.6 ppg, while Novacek is tops with 9.2 rpg on the season. Bucknell was picked to finish fifth in the eight-team Patriot League preseason poll.
Who’s Up Next: The Retrievers return to the RAC Arena for a pair of games to open the month of December before closing out the 2009 calendar year with five games on the road. UMBC will host in-state rival Navy on Wednesday, Dec. 2, and regional foe Delaware on Saturday, Dec. 5. The Retrievers are 10-14 all-time against the Midshipmen but have won four of the last five meetings. UMBC has not faced Delaware since 1993.
Inside the Series: Sunday's game marks the sixth all-time meeting between UMBC and Bucknell, and the Bison hold a 4-1 series advantage. The first meeting occurred on Nov. 30, 1979, a 64-29 victory for the Bison at the Pittsburgh-Johnstown Tournament. The teams have not met since Nov. 21, 1998, a 76-67 win for Bucknell in the UMBC Invitational. The Retrievers are 0-2 all-time in Lewisburg, but have not been there since Nov. 26, 1995, an 82-49 loss.
News and Notes...
For Starters: UMBC opens the season with a 2-2 record for the second year in a row and the 11th time in 24 seasons at the Division I level. The Retrievers are 2-8 in the fifth game of the season in those years and 10-13 in Game 5 since 1986-87.
Going Up: With 15 points at Towson on Tuesday, senior guard Carlee Cassidy moved into UMBC’s all-time top five with 1,282 career points. She is now just 29 points behind Kori Kindbom (1,311) for fourth place. Cassidy is the second-leading scorer among active players in the America East behind Vermont’s Courtnay Pilypaitis, and she ranks 44th overall. Cassidy became the 16th Retriever ever to score 1,000 points in her career on Jan. 21, 2009, against Albany, her 77th career game. She is the fourth-fastest Retriever to reach the milestone, as only Tammy McCarthy, Felice Pinkney and Kori Kindbom needed less games to accomplish the feat, and she is also only the third Retriever ever to score her 1,000th point during her junior season, joining McCarthy and Kindbom. Cassidy is on pace to finish her career as UMBC’s second all-time leading scorer behind McCarthy, who scored 2,063 points from 1983-87.
Tiger Tamers: Senior guard Carlee Cassidy’s layup with one second left gave UMBC a 74-72 victory over Towson on Tuesday. The score was tied 10 times, including with six seconds left, but the Retrievers eked out their second straight victory over their cross-town rival. Last season, UMBC defeated Towson, 69-68, at the RAC Arena.
Double Your Pleasure: Four Retrievers have scored in double figures for three straight games, with guards Carlee Cassidy and Michelle Kurowski and forwards Meghan Colabella and Erin Brown the latest to accomplish the feat on Tuesday at Towson, and all four rank among the top 15 scoring leaders in the America East. UMBC is the only school in the league with four players averaging double figures. Five Retrievers reached double figures on Nov. 15 agaisnt UMES for the first time since Nov. 26, 2006, against NJIT. Cassidy has reached double figures in 56 of 62 games since the start of the 2007-08 season, including 28 of 30 in 2008-09. Kurowski and Brown have tallied in double figures in each of the first four games this season.
Raining Three’s: UMBC ranks second in the America East with 7.8 3-pointers made per game. The Retrievers tied a school record with 14 three-pointers on Nov. 15 against UMES. The last time UMBC drained 14 triples was Jan. 17, 2004, at Northeastern. Senior guard Carlee Cassidy, junior forward Meghan Colabella and sophomore guard Michelle Kurowski combined to make 12 of the 14 three-pointers, as each nailed four, marking career highs for both Colabella and Kurowski. The Retrievers then made 11 on Tuesday at Towson, including eight in the second half on just 11 attempts. Sophomore forward Erin Brown drained a career-high four against the Tigers.
Helping Hand: Junior point guard Michele Brokans dished out eight assists while committing just one turnover at Towson on Tuesday. She has recorded 13 helpers on the season while committing just four miscues for a league-best 3.3 assist-to-turnover ratio. Brokans has also climbed into UMBC’s all-time top 15 for career assists, as she now ranks 14th with 192, whch ranks as the fifth-most among active players in the America East. She is the only underclassman among the conference’s top five. Brokans dished out 110 assists last season, including a career-high 10 against Binghamton on Jan. 24, the most by a Retriever since Brittnie Hughes recorded 12 against Texas State on Dec. 29, 2006. The 10 assists also ties the eighth-highest single-game total in UMBC history and marks the 14th double-digit assist effort ever by a Retriever. Brokans ranked fifth in the America East with 3.7 apg on the season. In addition, she ranked second in the league and 46th in the NCAA in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7), as she committed just 66 miscues.
Cassidy for Three: Senior guard Carlee Cassidy became UMBC’s all-time record holder for career 3-pointers on Feb. 11, 2009, against Vermont, and she now has 188 in her career, which ranks ninth all-time in the America East. In addition, she broke UMBC’s career mark for 3-point attempts at New Hampshire on Feb. 10, and now has 579. Cassidy also set UMBC’s single-season 3-point record at 80 in 2008-09. In addition, Cassidy was one of three players to break the America East record for 3-pointers made in a season last year, along with Boston University’s Kristi Dini (109) and Albany’s Britney McGee (83). Cassidy finished last season ranked third in the America East and 16th in the NCAA with 2.7 three-pointers made per game. She currently ranks fourth in the conference with 2.5 per game this in 2009-10.
Special K: Sophomore guard Michelle Kurowski earned the season’s first America East Player of the Week award on Nov. 16 after averaging 21.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg and 4.5 apg against Virginia and UMES on opening weekend. Kurowski shot 56 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range, and she was a perfect 11-for-11 from the foul line. She finished just shy of a triple-double with 22 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists agains the Hawks.
Century Mark: The Retrievers set a school Division I record for points scored against UMES on Nov. 15 with 102 points. The last time a UMBC team tallied at least 100 points was Nov. 29, 1985, in a 108-76 victory at Shippensburg, while an America East team had not scored 100 points in a game since Drexel posted 101 at Vermont on Feb. 8, 2001. The Retrievers also scored a school-record 59 points in the second half, eclipsing the 57 points scored in a period twice, both occurring during the 1985-86 season. In addition, UMBC’s 37-point margin of victory was its largest since defeating Salisbury State, 94-46, on Jan. 12, 1991.
To the Limit: UMBC gave 14th-ranked Virginia all it could handle in the season opener on Nov. 13 in front of a record crowd of 1,604 at the RAC. The game was tied, 34-34, at halftime, and the Retrievers led, 48-47, at the 7:52 mark before the Cavaliers used a 13-0 run to take the lead for good and eventually post a 68-57 victory.
Double-Double Vision: Junior forward Meghan Colabella posted her second straight double-double and the fifth of her career with 15 points and 10 rebounds against UMES on Nov. 15, while sophomore guard Michelle Kurowski notched her second career double-double with 22 points and a career-high 14 boards. It was the first time two Retrievers tallied double-doubles since Sharri Rohde and Amanda Robinson accomplished the feat on Dec. 2, 2006, at Fairleigh Dickinson. The duo has combined for all four UMBC double-doubles this season.
Three’s Company: The Retrievers have made at least one 3-pointer in 135 straight games dating to Feb. 5, 2005. UMBC made 178 three-pointers as a team last season, tied for the fifth-best single-season total in program history. Each of the top seven season totals have occurred during head coach Phil Stern’s tenure.
Dishing it Out: UMBC set a new school record for assists in a game with 28 against UMES on Nov. 15. Sophomore guard Michelle Kurowski led the way with a career-high seven helpers, while sophomore guard Katie Brooks dished out six and senior guard Carlee Cassidy added five. In all, nine out of 10 players to see action tallied at least one assist. UMBC is the only team in the America East with more than one - let alone four - players averaging at least 3.0 assists per game and ranking among the league’s top 10 in helpers. In addition, all four (Brooks, Cassidy, Kurowski and sophomore guard Michele Brokans) boast an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.0 or better.
Charity Case: Sophomore guard Michelle Kurowski made 11 straight free throws to start the season, and she now ranks second all-time at UMBC with a career .822 free throw percentage. Senior guard Carlee Cassidy ranks third at .794, while her 296 free throws made are the second-highest toal in school history. The Retrievers led the America East in free throw percentage last season at .731 - the third-best mark in school history - but have made just 47 of 78 foul shots (60.3 percent) in the first four games of the 2009-10 campaign.
Hot Shot: UMBC leads the America East in 3-point field goal percentage (.373) and ranks second in field goal percentage (.430). Three Retrievers (Erin Brown, Meghan Colabella, Michelle Kurowski) rank among the top 10 in the America East in field goal percentage, and UMBC is one of two teams in the league (Maine) with a pair of players (Brown, Colabella) shooting 50 percent or better on the season. The same three players rank among the top five in the conference in 3-point percentage.
Cleaning the Glass: UMBC leads the America East in rebounding (43.2 rpg). Sophomore guard Michelle Kurowski (8.8 rpg) and junior forward Meghan Colabella (8.5 rpg) rank third and fourth, respectively, in the conference. Kurowski pulled down a career-high 14 rebounds against UMES on Nov. 15, the second-best total in the league so far this season.
Against the Patriot League: UMBC is 20-32 all-time against current Patriot League opponents. Lafayette is the only team agaisnt which the Retrievers have a winning record (2-0). UMBC’s most wins have come against local rivals Navy (10-14) and American (5-7). The Retrievers have never beaten Colgate or Holy Cross. Bucknell is the first of two straight Patriot League opponents for UMBC, as Navy will visit the RAC on Wednesday.
High-Water Marks: The Retrievers set a number of America East single-game highs for the 2009-10 campaign in their contest against UMES on Nov. 15, including points (102), field goals (39), field goal percentage (.557), 3-pointers (14), 3-point percentage (.583), rebounds (54) and assists (28), while their .478 three-point percentage against Towson on Nov. 24 is second-best on the season.
Retrievers Picked Sixth: For the third time in the last four years, UMBC was picked to finish sixth in the America East preseason coaches poll. Defending champion Vermont was selected to win the conference, narrowly edging perennial favorite Hartford.
Another Honor for Cassidy: Senior guard Carlee Cassidy, who led the America East in scoring for the second year in a row at 20.4 ppg last season, was selected to the league’s preseason all-conference team. She joins Hartford’s Erica Beverly and Vermont’s Courtnay Pilypaitis as repeat selections, as all three garnered preseason nods in 2008-09, as well.
Bragging Rights: UMBC will take on five of the other eight Division I schools in the state of Maryland this season. The Retrievers will host UMES (Nov. 15) and Navy (Dec. 2) and will travel to Towson (Nov. 24), Coppin State (Dec. 12) and Loyola (Dec. 20). So far UMBC is 2-0 against its in-state rivals after a 102-65 victory over UMES and a 74-72 win over Towson.
New York State of Mind: Guards Carlee Cassidy (Syracuse) and Michelle Kurowski (Hicksville), both natives of New York, provided a stellar one-two punch for the Retrievers last season, as Cassidy led the America East in scoring and Kurowski was the league’s top rookie scorer, ranking eighth in the nation among freshmen. Cassidy and Kurowski each scored more than 2,000 points in their prep careers, ranking among the best all-time in the state of New York. In 2008-09, they each tallied 20 or more points in the same game five times, including a pair of 30-point performances against Navy on Dec. 3. The duo accounted for 49.1 percent of UMBC’s total offense last season (1,023 of 2,083 points).
Back in the Mix: The Retrievers return 93.9 percent (1,955 of 2,083 points) of their scoring offense from last season, led by senior guard Carlee Cassidy’s school-record 613 points. UMBC scored more than 2,000 points for just the second time in school history but the first in the Division I era. The Retrievers scored a school-record 2,271 points in 1985-86. In addition, UMBC’s 69.4 points per games were the second-best mark in program history behind the 1985-86 squad’s 78.3 ppg and ranked second in the America East.
Wrap Up: The Retrievers’ 14 wins last season tied for the sixth-most during the program’s Division I era. In addition, UMBC’s eight non-conference victories tied the school’s Division I record, while the six America East triumphs were tied for the second-most in six years in the league. The Retrievers’ 7-2 start matched the program’s best nine-game start in the Division I era.
Home Sweet Home: The Retrievers went 9-4 in games played at the RAC Arena last season, their most home victories since 2005-06 and tied for the second-most ever. The 1993-94 team won 10 games at home.
All-Conference: Guard Carlee Cassidy was named to the America East All-Conference Second Team, while guard Michelle Kurowski and forward Erin Brown both earned All-Rookie Team honors. After garnering first-team nods in 2007-08, Cassidy, who was also a preseason all-conference pick, became just the second Retriever to earn America East all-league honors in back-to-back years, joining former teammate Sharri Rohde in 2006 and 2007. In addition, Kurowski and Brown give UMBC two all-rookie honorees for the first time ever. Finally, forward Meghan Colabella was tabbed to the league’s All-Academic Team.
Top Dawg: Guard Carlee Cassidy became the first player to lead the America East in scoring in back-to-back seasons since Maine’s Jamie Cassidy did so in 1998-99 and 1999-2000. UMBC’s Cassidy averaged 17.0 ppg in 2007-08 and 20.4 ppg in 2008-09. She was also the first America East player to average more than 20 points per game since Maine’s Heather Ernest in 2002-03. Cassidy broke a number of single-season school records last year, including points (613), three-pointers (80) and free throws (175).
New Kids on the Block: UMBC’s eight freshmen accounted for 52.6 percent (1,095 of 2,083 points) of UMBC’s total offense last season. As a class, the freshmen played nearly half (2,867) of the Retrievers’ total minutes. With a roster that included eight freshmen and five sophomores, UMBC boasted the second-most underclassmen (13) of any Division I school in the country a year ago. UMBC freshmen combined to win eight of 17 America East Rookie of the Week awards last season, including a conference-record six straight from Week 2-7. Guard Michelle Kurowski led the way with four honors, while guard Katie Brooks and forward Erin Brown each earned two. Kurowski became the first America East freshman to win three straight Rookie of the Week awards since Vermont’s Courtnay Pilypaitis did it five weeks in a row in 2006-07.
Retrievers All-Access: All of the Retrievers’ home games will be video streamed through UMBC’s multimedia website, www.UMBCRetrievers.tv. An All-Access Pass, available for $59.95, gives fans the opportunity to watch not only all the live coverage of various UMBC home athletic events, but also premium content not available to view without the All-Access Pass. The premium content includes any and all UMBC player and coaches interviews, highlights and an in-depth archive section of all video available on UMBCRetrievers.TV. Single-game subscriptions for all live events will be available throughout the season for $4.95.
Follow the Retrievers: UMBC fans can now keep up with their favorite teams in a number of new ways, as UMBC Athletics is now on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter. Fans can also follow head coach Phil Stern on Twitter, as well as in his new blog, PHILosophy, while the Retrievers also have the UMBC Dawg Blog.