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Women’s Basketball Hosts Hartford on Senior Night
BALTIMORE – UMBC women’s basketball looks to solidify the third-seed in the America East Tournament on Wednesday, Feb. 27, when it welcomes Hartford to the RAC Arena for Senior Night. The Retrievers need to win one of their final two games to hold their current standing in the conference rankings. UMBC’s four seniors – Kim Browning, Kristin Coles, Brittany Crowell and Raven Harris – will be honored prior to the 7 p.m. tip-off. All the action can be seen live on UMBCRetrievers.tv and heard on Q1370/www.q1370.com with Dan Levin on the call.
scouting the retrievers (10-17, 6-8 AE): UMBC snapped its longest win streak of the season on Saturday, with a 72-51 loss to Boston University on the Terriers' Senior Day. Senior guard Raven Harris finished with six steals to become the program's single-season leader in takeaways with 95 on the year and added 15 points and two rebounds. Senior guard Kristin Coles fell one point shy of a double-double in her second start of the season, tallying nine points and 10 rebounds, despite being forced to the bench with four fouls. Sophomore forward Ashley Lambert chipped in 10 points and four rebounds off the bench.
Harris is leading the Retrievers with 16.0 points per game during conference action - second in the league - and 12.4 points a game on the season. The senior enters the weekend eighth in Division I in steals per game (3.52) and also ranks in the top-five in the league during America East play in assists (4.6), steals (3.4), free throw percentage (.746) and minutes played (37.8). Classmate Brittany Crowell moved into UMBC's top-10 all-time in three-point field goals made with one trey against Boston. The guard is averaging 2.2 treys a contest and is chipping in 11.6 points per game on the year. Since returning from injuries, senior guard Kristin Coles has seen action in seven league games in 2013 and is scoring 8.3 points a game and pulling down a team-best 7.3 rebounds - 3.4 offensive rebounds a contest.
Stern is in his 11th season at the helm of the Retrievers' program, after leading the black and gold to their second America East Championship game appearance last season. Following the graduation of 59.5 percent of the conference's highest scoring offense in 2011-12, UMBC (34 votes) was tabbed to finish sixth in the league behind Albany (61), Boston University (56), Hartford (54), New Hampshire (37) and Vermont (37).
scouting the HAWKS (17-10, 8-6 AE): Hartford holds a two-game lead over the Retrievers for third-place in the conference standings with two games to go in the regular season – second seed in the America East Tournament due to Boston University being ineligible for the conference’s postseason play. The Hawks took the weekend off after dropping two straight contests, a 69-55 loss to top-ranked Albany, and a 51-49 loss to New Hampshire last Wednesday. Senior Alex Hall scored a game-high 15 points against the Wildcats, while classmate Ruthanne Doherty became the newest member of the Hawk's 1,000 point club.
Hartford's offense ranks third in the conference in scoring (57.0) and in scoring defense (54.4). Sophomore guard Amber Bepko leads the charge for UH, averaging 11.1 points per game. Doherty and senior forward Nikkia Smith are both shooting at a .453 clip from the floor this season, with Smith averaging 10.4 points and a team-best 5.7 rebounds. Doherty is chipping in 7.4 points and 4.1 boards on the year.
Inside the Series: Hartford holds a 17-5 series advantage against UMBC, dating back to the first meeting in 2002. Brittany Crowell scored 17 of her game-high 18 points in the second half in the first meeting between the two programs this season, but it was not enough as the Hawk outscored the Retrievers 20-7 over the final 7:00 of play to earn their second-straight victory against UMBC. Three of the Retrievers' five wins against Hartford have come in the RAC Arena.
On the horizon for the retrievers: The Retrievers conclude the regular season at Binghamton on March 2 in an ESPN3 broadcast. UMBC looks to avenge last month's 66-57 loss on its home court. The black and gold enter the week fourth in the America East standings, but with Boston University unable to participate in the conference tournament, UMBC holds the No. 3 seed and is in control of its own destiny.