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Women's Basketball Falls Shorts Against Hartford on Senior Night, 69-62
Crowell finished with a game-high 17 points
BALTIMORE – UMBC women’s basketball had four players finish in double-digit points, including a game-high from the Retrievers’ America East Player of the Game Brittany Crowell (Brandywine, Md./Gwynn Park/James Madison), but Hartford knocked down 50 percent of its shots in the second half en route to locking up the No. 2 seed in the America East Tournament with a 69-62 victory on Senior Night at the RAC Arena.
Senior guard Raven Harris (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne/American) registered 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while classmate Kristin Coles (Charles Town, W.Va./Notre Dame Academy/American) added 13 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Sophomore forward Ashley Lambert (Fredericksburg, Va./Riverbend) chipped in 10 points for the second-straight game.
UMBC (10-18, 6-9 AE) moves into a three-way tie for the third seed in the tournament with one game remaining in the regular season. Hartford (18-10, 9-6 AE) snaps a two-game skid in the contest and completes the season sweep against the Retrievers.
Despite the Hawks jumping out to a 7-2 lead in the opening minutes, UMBC stormed back behind the play of Coles who scored seven of the game’s next nine points to knot the score at nine. The Retrievers suffered some early foul trouble, allowing Hartford to go on a 15-3 run, giving the Hawks its largest lead of the afternoon at 24-12, with 10:25 to go in the half.
Lambert helped to spark the Retrievers on the comeback, scoring back-to-back buckets to initiate an 11-0 UMBC run that would tie the game at 28-28 with 1:24 left in the first. The Retrievers shot 42.9 percent from the floor in the opening half, but a three from senior guard Daphne Elliot with 26 seconds left – her ninth points of the half – gave Hartford the advantage at the break, 33-30.
Crowell drilled her first two attempts from long range of the second half, giving UMBC its first lead of the game, 40-38, with 17:11 on the clock and Harris followed with a layup to put the Retrievers up four, but the inside game of Ruthanne Doherty and the long range shooting of Shanise Bultron helped the Hawks to score nine unanswered points and regain the lead for good. Bultron, who finished with 12 points, hit three of her four threes in the contest during the second half.
UMBC came back within one on two occasions, the first coming on a jumper from senior forward Kim Browning (Mechanicsville, Va./Hanover) and the second coming after back-to-back treys from Crowell, but each time the Hawks responded with a three to preserve their lead.
The Retrievers would score one field goal over the final six minutes of play, but a pair of free throws from Harris cut UMBC’s deficit to two, 60-58. However, Hartford’s senior forward and America East Player of the Game Nikkia Smith, scored six of her eight second half points in the final four minutes to coast the Hawks to victory. Smith finished with the game’s only double-double, scoring 12 points and pulling down 11 boards.
Hartford outrebounded the Retrievers 46-34 in the contest, including 15 offensive boards that lead to 19 second chance points.
The Retrievers close out the regular season at Binghamton on Saturday, March 2 at Events Center. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m., with all the action available live on ESPN3.