BALTIMORE – UMBC women's basketball freshman forward Sara Tarbert (Delta, Pa./Kennard-Dale) posted 20-plus points in her second straight game, the first America East freshman in this decade to do so in the opening two games of her career, but it was not enough to overcome Coppin State shooting 61.3 percent from the floor in the opening half, as the Eagles would go on to defeat the Retrievers, 78-62, in front of 1,800 elementary school students on Wednesday afternoon at CSU's Physical Education Complex.
Tarbert finished with a game-high 23 points and added five boards, while classmate Emily Russo (Woodbine, Md./Glenelg) added 11 points for the second consecutive contest. Coppin State had all three of its senior starters finish in double-figures, led by guard Ashle Craig's 20 points. Forward Larrisa Carter shot seven-for-10 from the floor for 18 points and added seven boards, while Kyra Coleman chipped in 16 points and five assists. The Eagles improve to 2-1, while UMBC falls to 1-1.
The first half proved to be all Coppin State, as the Eagles posted 12-straight points out of the gate. Despite buckets on back-to-back possessions for Tarbert and sophomore guard Liz McNaughton (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax), the Retrievers were unable to tame the Eagles, who connected on seven-of-10 three-point shots in the first 20 minutes of play. CSU, who's first two opponents averaged 27.0 turnovers per contest, forced UMBC to 10 first-half turnovers to help increase its advantage to as much as 27 points, 37-10, in the opening period.
The Retrievers chipped away at the deficit before the half, including an old fashioned three-point play from sophomore center Bridget O'Donnell (Belle Mead, N.J./Montgomery) with two seconds to go, sending UMBC into the break down, 46-25.
UMBC picked up its play in the second, shooting 52 percent from the floor and outscoring the Eagles by five in the half. The Retrievers, who were outrebounded 16-9 in the opening half, controlled the defensive glass in the second period, including eight boards from O'Donnell. The second-year center would finish the game with nine points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Coppin State pulled down nine offensive boards in the contest and turned it into 17 second chance points, 11 coming in the opening period.
UMBC returns home on Saturday, Nov. 16 when it hosts UMES at the RAC Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.