Michelle Kurowski posted team highs with 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists at Vermont.
BURLINGTON, Vt.—The UMBC women’s basketball team (12-15, 6-8 AE) gave defending America East champion Vermont (22-5, 12-2 AE) a run for its money, but the Catamounts pulled away over the last six minutes to complete the season sweep, 67-50, Sunday afternoon at Patrick Gymnasium.
Every time UMBC would get within striking distance, Vermont answered back. Trailing 30-23 at halftime, the Retrievers opened the second stanza with a 10-4 run to pull to within one point, 34-33, at the 16:30 mark, but the Catamounts responded with seven straight points over the next four minutes to open an eight-point advantage.
Another 10-3 UMBC spurt had the visitors back within a point, 44-43, with 6:35 remaining, but Vermont guard Sofia Iwobi knocked down a huge 3-pointer 30 seconds later, sparking a game-ending 23-7 Catamount run. The Retrievers committed six turnovers during that span.
The first half was nearly as streaky as the second. The Catamounts led by five with 12:34 remaining before seven straight points gave UMBC a 12-10 lead just over two minutes later. Vermont responded with nine in a row and 16 of the next 21 to go up by nine, 26-17, at the 4:27 mark.
Sophomore guard Michelle Kurowski (Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville) led the Retrievers with 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists to earn UMBC’s America East Player of the Game honors. She made five of eight shots from the floor, including three of five from beyond the arc, and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the foul line. Senior guard Carlee Cassidy (Syracuse, N.Y./Westill) added 11 points, eight boards, three assists and two steals. She also drained three 3-pointers.
Vermont’s four seniors led the way for the hosts in the final home game of their careers. Guard Courtnay Pilypaitis scored 17 points, dished out 10 assists and added four steals, while center Alissa Sheftic netted 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting and a perfect 6-of-6 at the charity stripe. Iwobi was named Player of the Game with 13 points on 6-of-10 from the floor, while guard May Kotsopoulos, the league’s leading scorer, tallied all 12 of her points in the second half, including 10 in the final 5:22 of action after missing eight of her first nine shots.
The Retrievers outrebounded the Catamounts, 30-29, but Vermont’s 12 offensive boards resulted in 15 second-chance points. In addition, UMBC’s 23 turnovers led to 32 Vermont points.
The Retrievers return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 24, when they host America East rival Boston University at 7 p.m. The game will be the Retrievers’ last at the RAC Arena this season and the final home game in Cassidy’s storied career.