BALTIMORE – UMBC women's basketball returns home from a four-game road swing on Saturday, Dec. 7 when it hosts VCU at the RAC Arena. The Retrievers look to snap a seven-game skid on Saturday, with a 2 p.m. tipoff. All the live action can be seen on UMBCRetrievers.tv, courtesy of the America East digital network.
SCOUTING THE RETRIEVERS (1-7): UMBC took the week off after dropping its seventh in a row for the first time since the 2004-05 season. The Retrievers fell in a pair of contests at the Navy Classic, thanks in large part to a combined 47 turnovers in its two games. UMBC turned the ball over 26 times against Brown and allowed the Bears to connect on 15 three-point field goals in a 92-53 loss last Saturday. Freshman guard Taylor McCarley led the Retrievers with 12 points on four-of-five shooting from the floor and a perfect four-for-four from the charity stripe, while sophomore guard Liz McNaughton chipped in a career-high 11 points in the loss.
The Retrievers are led by the reigning America East Rookie of the Week Sara Tarbert, who is shooting 50 percent from the floor and posting team-bests in points (16.0), rebounds (7.5) and assists (3.0). In her first eight collegiate games, Tarbert has six double-digit scoring efforts, two double-doubles and two 20-point scoring performances, while also ranking third in the America East in scoring and rebounding. McCarley has picked up her scoring as of late, scoring in double-figures in each of the last three games, including a season-best 15 points against Towson.
SCOUTING THE RAMS (6-1): VCU caps off a season-long five game road trip on Saturday at the RAC Arena. The Rams won their fifth consecutive game with Sunday's 87-61 victory against Wagner, for their best start in five years. Senior guard/forward Robyn Parks notched a double-double with a game-high 24 points and 15 rebounds, en route to becoming the 20th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
VCU is shooting 41.7 percent from the floor for the season and outscoring their opponents by 13.4 points per game. Parks leads the charge, connecting on over half of her shots for the year to average 20.9 points per game. The senior completes the double-double by pulling down 11.3 rebounds per game, including 37 offensive boards on the year. Freshmen guards Isis Thorpe and Keira Robinson are also scoring in double-digit points, averaging 12.9 points and 11.0 points respectively. Robinson has dished out a team-best 34 assists on the year, to go along with 16 takeaways. Sophomore guard Jessica Pellechio is the fourth Ram scoring in double-figures, but has missed the last three games.
INSIDE THE SERIES: The Retrievers trail, 7-2, in the all-time series against the Rams. In their first meeting since 2001, VCU defeated UMBC, 70-41, on its home floor. The Retrievers were missing three starters in the contest and shot just 14.3 percent from the floor in the second half. UMBC's last win against the Rams came on Nov. 16, 2001, a 62-40 victory for the Retrievers in Baltimore.
ON THE HORIZON FOR THE RETRIEVERS: UMBC hits the road for its first of four away games in the month of December, starting with a trip to Bucknell on Dec. 10. The Retrievers take a break for finals before returning to action at Loyola (Md.) on Dec. 21. UMBC takes eight more days off for the holidays and then travels to the James Madison Tournament on Dec. 29 and 30.