BALTIMORE – UMBC women's basketball caps off its four-game road swing when it travels to the Navy Classic for a pair of games. The Retrievers open the weekend against Rider on Friday, Nov. 29 with a 3:30 p.m. tip at Alumni Hall and follow with a 3:30 p.m. contest against Brown on Saturday. Paul Mittermeier and Dan Levin will call all the live action for Saturday's versus Brown on Q1370 radio or www.q1370.com.
SCOUTING THE RETRIEVERS (1-5): UMBC is winless in its last five games, including dropping a pair of tough ones over the past week. In their latest contest, the Retrievers shot a season-best 47.8 percent from the field, including 56 percent in the second half against Towson. After trailing by 11 with 3:17 to go in the contest, the Retrievers capped off a 9-1 run with a three from sophomore Liz McNaughton with 56 second remaining in the contest, but a pair of costly turnovers in the final 30 seconds of the contest resulted in UMBC's fifth consecutive loss.
Freshman forward Sara Tarbert continued her stellar play, falling just shy of posting her first career triple-double, finishing with 19 points, nine rebounds and eight assists against the Tigers. Tarbert is shooting 50.6 percent from the field and ranks second in the conference in scoring at 17.5 points per game. The rookie's 8.0 rebounds per contest ranks third in the America East. Fellow freshman Taylor McCarley is coming off a season-high 15-point performance against Towson and is averaging 9.0 points per game since moving into the starting rotation against UMES.
SCOUTING THE BRONCS (1-4): Rider hits the road for the first time in three games, having dropped its second consecutive contest on Sunday, falling, 65-54, to Delaware. MyNeshia McKenzie, the program's 15th all-time leading scorer, led the way for the Broncs, but narrowly missed out on the double-double for the first time this season, scoring 21 points and pulling down nine rebounds.
McKenzie is one of two Rider players averaging double-digit points. The senior guard leads the way with 20.0 points per game and 11.0 rebounds, while red-shirt junior guard Lashay Banks is chipping in 12.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.0 steals. Junior post Marritt Gillcrease is shooting an outstanding 71.4 percent from the floor on the year and has totaled a team-best seven blocks in five games.
INSIDE THE SERIES VS RIDER: UMBC holds a 6-2 all-time advantage against the Broncs, but has not faced Rider since Dec. 29, 2008 as part of the Virginia Marriott Cavalier Classic, where the Retrievers defeated Rider, 76-55. The Retrievers and Broncs faced each other four times as members of the East Coast Conference in the early 1990's. UMBC won the first three meetings between the two squads and have also won the last three games of the series.
SCOUTING THE BEARS (2-2): Brown enters the weekend at .500 after dropping a heartbreaker at Army on Saturday, Nov. 23. The Bears closed the game against the Black Knights on a 29-12 run, but a Jen Hazlett's offensive rebound and put back with 1.5 seconds to go put a stop to Brown's comeback hopes. The Bears had three players finish with double-figure points, including a game-high 19 points from senior guard Lauren Clarke.
Clarke is in pursuit of the 1,000 career points plateau, having entered the year with 859 points and is scoring 17.2 points per contest on the season. Junior guard Sophie Bikofsky is adding 14.2 points, while senior forward Sophie Beutel is grabbing a team-best 5.0 rebounds per game.
INSIDE THE SERIES VS BROWN: UMBC and Brown have only met on neutral sites, with the Retrievers capturing both victories. The first meeting in the series came on Jan. 3, 1991 at the Florida International Tournament, in which the Retrievers squeaked by the Bears with a 67-64 victory. The two met for a second time at the Iona Thanksgiving Classic on Nov. 28, 2010, which resulted in a 20-point victory for the black and gold, 75-55.
ON THE HORIZON FOR THE RETRIEVERS: UMBC takes a week off before returning home for its only game at the RAC Arena in the month of December on Saturday, Dec. 7 when it takes on VCU. The Retrievers travel to Bucknell on Tuesday, Dec. 10 for its final game before taking a break from the court for finals week.