BALTIMORE – UMBC women's basketball looks to get back to its winning ways when it closes out its homestand against American on Wednesday, Nov. 20 as part of a UMBC basketball doubleheader. The Retriever women open up the evening with a 5 p.m. tip-off against the Eagles, while the men's team follows with a 7:30 p.m. meeting against Loyola. All the live action at the RAC Arena will be available on UMBCRetrievers.tv courtesy of the America East digital network.
SCOUTING THE RETRIEVERS (1-2): UMBC has dropped two straight after winning its season-opener against Eastern (Pa.). In their latest contest, UMBC was defeated, 68-45, by UMES, as the Lady Hawks drained 12 three-point baskets. Freshmen forward Sara Tarbert led the Retrievers in scoring for the third consecutive game and came one rebound shy of her second double-double of the season, finishing with 17 points and nine rebounds. Fellow freshmen Taylor McCarley notched her first double-digit scoring performance of the year, shooting four-of-eight from the floor for 10 points, while forward Amanda Hagaman provided a spark off the bench, chipping in eight points, eight rebounds and two assists.
Tarbert earned America East Rookie of the Week after shooting 50 percent from the field and averaging team-bests in points (20.3) and rebounds (8.0) in three games. The first-year forward scored 20-plus points in two of her first three games and added a double-double in her collegiate debut. Freshman point guard Emily Russo is averaging 3.0 assists per game, to go along with 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds. Sophomore center Bridget O'Donnell is shooting a team-best 60 percent from the floor through three games and is scoring 7.3 points and pulling down 5.0 rebounds per game.
Head coach Phil Stern is in his 12th season at the helm of the Retrievers' program and is 12 victories away from becoming the program's all-time winningest coach, a mark Sue Furnary amassed while coaching the black and gold from 1980-1993 and posting a 152-193 record.
The Retrievers, who were picked to finish seventh in the America East Coaches' Preseason poll, own the youngest roster in the America East, as the squad features nine newcomers, while returning one senior and a pair of sophomores. UMBC returned eight percent of its scoring from a year ago and had a combined 21 Division I starts on its roster coming into the season, all coming from senior captain Dana Lewis.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES (2-0): American has won back-to-back contests to start the 2013-14 campaign, including Sunday's 82-59 victory against UMass. For the second-straight game, four players reached double-digit points for the Eagles, led by a career-high 15 points from junior forward Arron Zimmerman, who also chipped in a team-best eight rebounds.
American is turning over its opponents 19.5 points a game and is outscoring them by 15 points through two games. Zimmerman ranks second on the team in points per game (13.0), surpassed only by senior guard Alexis Dobbs, who is shooting 60 percent from the floor and averaging 17.5 points and 5.5 assists. Senior forward Sarah Kiely leads the team on the glass, pulling down 9.5 boards per contest, while junior guard Jen Dumiak has corralled 7.5 rebounds a contest.
INSIDE THE SERIES: American has won back-to-back meetings and leads the all-time series, 8-5, against the Retrievers. The Retrievers are 3-2 against the Eagles on UMBC's home floor. UMBC's last victory against American came on Dec. 1, 2005.
LAST TIME OUT AGAINST THE EAGLES: UMBC shot 52.2 percent from the floor in the opening half in last season's 85-57 loss to American. The Eagles used a 10-0 run over the final minutes of the first half and continued by scoring the first eight points of the second half to break the game open. Bria White and Raven Harris each finished with double-digit points for the visiting Retrievers, while American's Jen Dumiak led three double-digit scorers with a game-high 21 points.
ON THE HORIZON FOR THE RETRIEVERS: After playing three of their first four games at home to start the season, the Retrievers hit the road for four consecutive games, starting with Saturday's contest at Robert Morris on Saturday, Nov. 23. UMBC travels to Towson prior to the Thanksgiving break on Tuesday, Nov. 26 and follows up the holiday with a pair of games at the Navy Classic on Nov. 29 and 30.