WEST HARTFORD, Conn.—Junior guard Michelle Kurowski(Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville) scored 26 points and added a season-high 13 rebounds to lead the top-seeded UMBC women's basketball team (20-10) to a 74-65 victory over No. 8 Stony Brook (7-23) Friday evening in the America East Championship quarterfinals at Hartford's Chase Arena. The Retrievers advance to the semifinals, where they will take on the winner of Friday's final quarterfinals matchup between No. 4 Hartford and No. 5 Albany on Sunday at 1:34 p.m.
UMBC's 20 wins match the school record, which was set by the 1985-86 squad. The Retrievers have now won seven in a row, their longest winning streak since taking 10 straight from Jan. 28-Feb. 26, 1994.
Kurowski's 26 points came on 8-of-13 shooting and 9-of-10 from the foul line, and she also tallied game highs of 13 rebounds and three steals. Junior forward Erin Brown (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) poured in 17 points, while senior forward Meghan Colabella (Upper Montclair, N.J./Montclair) added 12 points and six assists. Junior center Topé Obajolu (Randallstown, Md./Archbishop Carroll) chipped in 11 points to give the Retrievers four players in double figures for the fourth time this season. Obajolu added five assists and three blocks.
Stony Brook took an early 11-7 lead after five minutes of action, but the Retrievers used a 14-3 run over the next 6:40 to take the lead for good. UMBC extended its run to 20-7 and led, 27-18, with 2:16 to play in the half. The Retrievers held a 29-23 advantage at the intermission. Stony Brook made just three of its final 14 shots of the half after starting the game 6-for-12.
UMBC scored seven of the first nine points of the second period, capped by a 3-pointer by Brown that put the Retrievers on top by 11 points, 36-25, after just four minutes. Stony Brook pulled to within eight at the 12:14 mark, but back-to-back triples by Kurowski and Colabella gave UMBC a game-high 14-point lead, 48-34, with 10:58 to go.
After Stony Brook cut it to eight at the 9:09 mark, Kurowski took over, scoring eight straight UMBC points over the next five minutes. The Seawolves kept chipping away, however, cutting their deficit to six points, 64-58, with 1:28 to play. But the Retrievers made eight of 12 free throws in the final 57 seconds to seal the victory.
Stony Brook was led by forward Kirsten Jeter, who recorded a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Center Juanita Cochran added 15 points and seven boards.
The Retrievers shot 44.9 percent in the game while limiting the Seawolves to just 36.1 percent from the floor. Stony Brook held a 38-37 rebounding edge.
Notes: After starting the season 1-5, UMBC is 19-5 over its last 24 games… The Retrievers' 74 points were their most since scoring 75 against Brown on Nov. 28, 2010, and just their third 70-point performance this season... With 26 points, Kurowski moves into seventh place all-time at UMBC with 1,246 career points, passing Sharri Rohde (1,225) and Felice Pinkney (1,237).