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In-State Rival Coppin State Visits UMBC for Midweek Battle
Crowell tallied a career-high 25 points against Monmouth on Sunday
BALTIMORE – The UMBC women’s basketball team continues its five-game homestand on Wednesday when it hosts in-state rival Coppin State. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m., at the RAC Arena, with all the action live on UMBCRetrievers.tv.
scouting the retrievers (1-1): UMBC women's basketball opened its 45th season of action over the weekend with a split, falling 72-61 to Morgan State in the opener, but starting its home slate with a 71-68 victory against Monmouth on Sunday. The black and gold turned the ball over 11 times in the first half of the opener, which MSU converted into 15 points en route to a 12-point advantage at the break. The Retrievers cut the deficit to 11 multiple times in the second half, but were unable to come within single digits. Sophomore guards Lauren Chase and Bria White led the Retrievers against the Lady Bears, combining for 33 points. White scored 12 of her 15 points in the opening half, while Chase exploded for 13 points in the second.
Despite holding a 12-point advantage at one point, the Retriever allowed Monmouth to inch its way back, coming within two points of UMBC with 17 second remaining. Chase helped to hold off the Hawks, sinking one-of-two free throws to give the Retrievers a three-point cushion and force junior guard Nikki Lentini to attempt a trey for the tie. Lentini's attempt was too strong and UMBC escaped with its first victory of the season. Senior guard Brittany Crowell sparked UMBC in the opening minutes on Sunday, scoring 11 of the Retrievers' first 16 points. The Brandywine, Md., native finished with a career-high 25 points on the afternoon, connecting on five shots from beyond the arc.
Four of UMBC's five starters are averaging in double-figures after two games, as the Retrievers' are scoring a league-best 66.0 points per game. Crowell and Chase sit second and third in the America East in points per game, with 17.0 and 16.5, respectively, while White is adding 11.5 points per game and senior guard Raven Harris is chipping in 10.5 points and 5.0 steals per game.
scouting the Eagles (1-1): Coppin State split the opening weekend of the 2012-13 season, earning a 97-41 victory against Cheyney in the season-opener on Friday and falling at Wake Forest on Sunday, 82-75. In the opener, junior forward Kyra Coleman led four players in double figures with 20 points, as the Eagles registered their third-highest point total in school history. CSU placed four players in double-digit points for the second-straight game, including a team-best 19 points from senior forward Leola Spotwood. Coppin State forced the Deacons into 18 turnovers in the contest, translating into 21 Eagle points, however, Wake Forest took control of the paint, scoring 42 points in the lane. In two games, the Eagles are forcing their opponents into 38.5 turnovers per game and grabbing 19.0 steals.
Coleman, who averaged 6.4 points per game and 2.6 rebounds per game last season, is leading the squad averaging 19.0 points and 4.5 rebounds. Spotwood has added 15.5 points per game, shooting at a .750 clip from beyond the arc. Senior guard Shawntae Payne is also averaging double-digit points (12.5) and sophomore forward Bria Harris is pulling down a team-best 7.5 rebounds per game.
Head coach Derek Brown, in his 14th season with CSU, returns three starters from last year's squad that posted a 20-12 record and a fourth-place finish in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Eagles were picked to finish third in the MEAC, behind Howard and Hampton.
On the horizon for the retrievers: UMBC is in the midst of a five-game homestand in the month of November, all of which will be broadcast live on UMBCRetrievers.tv. The Retrievers hosts two-more in-state opponents in Loyola (Nov. 17) and Towson (Nov. 20). Former Retriever standout Michele Brokans makes her return to the RAC Arena on Nov. 25 when UMBC hosts Eastern (Pa.). Brokans serves as an assistant coach with the Eagles under head coach Nate Davis.