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Harris And UMBC Fall Short on Comeback Against Binghamton, 66-57
BALTIMORE – UMBC senior guard Raven Harris (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne/American) scored in double-digit points for the eighth-straight game, finishing with a career-high 24, but the Retrievers were unable to come back from a pair of Binghamton runs, falling to the Bearcats, 66-57, in Wednesday night’s America East contest at the RAC Arena.
Harris scored 20 of her 24 points in the second half and finished the contest with six assists, six steals and four rebounds to earn America East Player of the Game honors. Senior guard Brittany Crowell (Brandywine, Md./Gwynn Park/James Madison), the league’s scoring leader during conference play, chipped in 12 points, while junior center Dana Lewis (Brodhead, Wis./Brodhead) finished with eight points and five rebounds.
Binghamton had four players score in double-figures, including a team-high 17 points from sophomore forward Sherae Swinson. Junior guard Jasbriell Swain, BU’s America East Player of the Game, finished with 12 points, a game-high 12 rebounds and seven assists. Senior forward Kara Elofson added 10 points and nine rebounds, while senior forward Simone Thomas chipped in 11 points.
After a pair of runs – one in the first half and one in the second – that put the Retrievers at a 20-point disadvantage, 52-32, with 9:26 to go in the contest, Harris took it upon herself to try and get the black and gold back in the contest, scoring 13 of the game’s next 15 points to cut the deficit to nine, 54-45.
Thomas halted the Harris run with a pair of free throws and Swain added a layup to build the lead back up to 13 with 3:55 to go in the game. The senior guard was not done yet though, as Harris continued to drive on the foul stricken defense and took advantage on the free throw line – where she finished seven-for-10 in the second half. A second pair of free throws from Harris, followed by an offensive rebound and layup from senior forward Kim Browning (Mechanicsville, Va./Hanover) again brought UMBC with nine, 62-53, with 1:39 remaining.
With time running out, the Retrievers were forced to foul and although BU hit just three-of-six from the charity stripe down the stretch, UMBC missed on four of its last five shots to seal the victory for the Bearcats.
Binghamton (4-17, 3-5 AE) picked up its second win in the last three games, while the Retrievers (6-15, 2-6 AE) concluded their homestand with a pair of losses.
Despite missing four of its first five shots from the floor, UMBC was able to overcome a 5-0 deficit in the early going, scoring on four-straight possessions to take a 12-9 advantage with 13:02 to go in the opening half.
Binghamton responded, as an offensive rebound and put-back from Elofson helped to spark an 11-0 run over the next 2:29, to steal the momentum away from the Retrievers. Swain scored five of her nine first-half points on the spurt to give the Bearcats a nine-point advantage, 20-12.
The Retrievers, who shot 25.8 percent in the opening half, tried desperately to chip away at the deficit, but connected on just three of its final 20 shots of the stanza, allowing Swinson and the Bearcats to maintain their lead heading into the break, 33-20. Swinson finished with 13 of her 17 points in the first half.
Binghamton, who controlled the board 52-35 in the contest, held a 29-19 advantage in rebounds in the half, including eight offensive boards – five from Swain – that led to nine second chance points.
Crowell started off the second half with a trey for the Retrievers, but the Bearcats extended their lead to 46-28 following a 13-5 run with 14:55 to go. Thomas’ seven second half points helped BU lead by as many as 20 points in the second half, before Harris exploded on the offensive end.
The Retrievers start the second half of their America East schedule on Saturday, Feb. 2, when they travel to Maine to take on the Black Bears. Tip-off is set for noon at Alfond Arena.
-Binghamton leads the all-time series 15-6, UMBC 5-6 at home.
-Brittany Crowell reached double-figures for the seventh-straight game.
-UMBC Athletic Director Dr. Charles Brown served as a guest coach on the Retrievers’ bench after announcing his retirement yesterday.