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Poor Shooting Dooms UMBC Women’s Basketball in Season Finale at Binghamton, 62-45; Retrievers Third Seed in AEC Tournament
Coles with her second double-double of the year
VESTAL, N.Y. – UMBC women’s basketball senior guard Kristin Coles (Charles Town, W.Va./Notre Dame Academy/American) tabbed her second double-double of the year, finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds, but the Retrievers were unable to overcome shooting 25.9 percent (7-for-27) in the second half as Binghamton cruised to a 62-45 victory on Senior Night at the Events Center.
Coles earned America East Player of the Game honors for the Retrievers, while senior Mallory Lawes garnered the recognition for the Bearcats after scoring 13 points. Sophomore forward Ashley Lambert (Fredericksburg, Va./Riverbend) matched a career-high with 12 points, shooting five-of-nine from the floor and has scored double-digit points in each of the last three games.
The Retrievers (10-19, 6-10 AE) close out the regular season on a three-game losing streak, but earn the third seed in the America East Tournament by virtue of tiebreakers. UMBC will face sixth-seeded Vermont at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 2 at SEFCU Arena. The black and gold and the Catamounts split a pair of regular-season meetings, each team winning on their home court. Binghamton (6-23, 5-11 AE) won two of their last three contests to solidify the seven seed.
With playoff implications on the line, both teams looked sluggish in the early going, with the first basket of the contest not coming until the 17:49 mark. The two teams shot just 33.3 percent (21-for-63) from the floor in the opening half.
Lambert and Coles kept UMBC in the game, scoring 14 of UMBC’s 23 points in the opening half. A Coles layup put the Retrievers up four, 19-15, with 4:57 left in the period, but Binghamton scored 12 of th last 16 points of the stanza to take a 27-23 advantage into the break. Lambert connected on four-of-six shots in the first half, but was forced to the bench with three fouls with 1:28 to go.
The Retrievers received three offensive rebounds apiece from seniors Kim Browning (Mechanicsville, Va/Hanover) and Coles, but UMBC was only able to convert those boards into six points, while the Bearcats pulled down nine off the offensive glass and turned them into 10 first half points.
The Retrievers knocked down just one of its first eight shots in the second half, allowing the Bearcats to take an eight-point advantage – its largest lead of the contest to that point – at 34-26 with 14:28 to go in the contest.
Junior guard Stephanie Jensen knocked down her first of three treys in the second half to increase the lead to double-digits at 40-30. Lambert scored four-straight points to trim the deficit to six, 40-34, but Jensen came back down to drill another three, to start a 12-0 run for the Bearcats, who never looked back.
Freshman Morgan Murphy was a perfect five-for-five from the floor and finished with a team-best 14 points for Binghamton. Junior Jasbriel Swain pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds in the win. UMBC senior guard Raven Harris (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne/American), the league leader in scoring, recorded eight points, eight rebounds, five assists and five steals.
-UMBC moves to 1-9 against the Bearcats at Binghamton and move to 2-12 in road games this season.
- Stony Brook (14-15, 6-10 AE), UMBC (10-19, 6-10 AE) and Vermont (9-20, 6-10 AE) entered the day tied for the No. 3 seed with 6-9 records, with New Hampshire (11-17, 6-10 AE) just one game behind. The Seawolves lost at Albany, the Retrievers fell, 62-45, at Binghamton, and the Catamounts were defeated at Hartford, while the Wildcats beat Maine, 86-63, to bring the four teams even at 6-10 in conference play.
In the four-way tiebreak, UMBC came out as the No. 3 seed and will face No. 6 seed Vermont at 2 p.m. on Friday, while No. 4 seed Stony Brook will battle No. 5 seed New Hampshire at 8 p.m. to close out the quarterfinals.
UMBC won the four-way tiebreak by registering a 4-2 combined record against New Hampshire, Stony Brook and Vermont. It is the second-highest finish for the Retrievers since joining the conference in 2003-04.
-Coles notched her second double-double of the season and the eighth of her career, finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Her 14 points was a season-best.
-Lambert matched a career-high 12 points, she has a career-best three-straight double-digit scoring games.
-Harris increased her season steal total to 101 takeaways on the year. She is six steals away from tying Julie Bradstreet for fifth place in the America East record books.