BALTIMORE—Junior guard Michelle Kurowski (Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville) scored 28 points and junior forward Erin Brown(Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) netted 21 to lead the UMBC women's basketball team (9-8, 3-1 AE) to a 69-54 victory over America East rival Vermont (1-16, 1-3 AE) Saturday afternoon at the RAC Arena.
The Retrievers have now won eight of their last 11 games and are above the .500 mark for the first time since Dec. 5, 2009. UMBC is 3-1 in America East play for the first time ever in its eight seasons in the conference.
The America East Player of the Game for the fourth time in four league contests, Kurowski followed up her 30-point performance on Wednesday with another stellar shooting night, making 11 of 15 attempts from the floor, including two of three from long distance, and all four free throws. She added three assists, three steals and four rebounds.
Brown made a career-high five of nine 3-pointers and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the foul line, also a career best. Her 21 points were a season high, and she also pulled down a team-best seven rebounds. Brown and Kurowski gave the Retrievers two players with 20 points in the same game since Carlee Cassidy and Katie Brooks each reached the 20-point plateau at Boston University on March 4, 2009.
Vermont scored the first six points of the game and led, 11-5, at the 12:59 mark before a layup by Kurowski a minute later sparked an 11-0 UMBC run that gave the Retrievers the lead for good, 16-11, with 8:50 to go in the first half. Kurowski and Brown combined to score all 11 points during that spurt, and the Catamounts committed six turnovers during their 4:09 scoreless drought.
The Retrievers led by three, 19-16, at the 7:52 mark, but scored 13 of the final 18 points of the first half to take a 32-21 advantage into the intermission. UMBC shot 50 percent in the period and forced 13 Vermont turnovers, which led to 16 points.
UMBC extended its lead to as many as 20 points twice in the second half, but Vermont battled back to cut its deficit to 10 on two occasions, including 61-51 with 2:20 remaining, but the Retrievers scored eight of the final nine points of the game to seal the victory.
Vermont forward Tonya Young earned her team's Player of the Game honors with 25 points and five rebounds. Center Lauren Buschmann added nine points and a game-high eight boards.
With her 28 points, Kurowski moved into UMBC's all-time top 10 with 1,072 career points.
The Retrievers now have a short turnaround, as they visit preseason America East favorite BostonUniversity for a Monday matinee.