BALTIMORE – UMBC women's basketball returns to the RAC Arena on Saturday, Jan. 4 when it opens America East play against Binghamton. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m., with all the action live, free of charge at UMBCRetrievers.tv, courtesy of the America East digital network. Troy Green and Dan Levin will also call the action on Q1370 radio (www.q1370.com).
SCOUTING THE RETRIEVERS (1-11): UMBC dropped both of its contests at the James Madison Invitational to conclude its non-conference slate with a 1-11 overall mark. The Retrievers are winless in their last 11 games after winning the season-opener against Eastern (Pa.). In its latest contest, UMBC ran into Ohio on a rough day, as the Bobcats hit 19-of-35 three point attempts en route to an 84-36 victory. Junior guard Janelle Saling had her most successful weekend of the season, knocking down seven of 16 three point attempts and averaging 11.0 points per game during the tournament. Sophomore center Bridget O'Donnell chipped in 9.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks throughout the weekend.
The Retrievers field goal defense ranks second in the America East (.385), but UMBC is averaging a league-low 48.8 points per game on the season. The black and gold's young roster is piloted by freshman forward Sara Tarbert's 13.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. Classmate Taylor McCarley is adding 8.2 points and 3.6 boards, while rookie forward Amanda Hagaman is shooting a team-best 54.1 percent from the floor.
SCOUTING THE BEARCATS (3-10): Binghamton snapped a six game skid with a pair of victories at the Dartmouth/Blue Sky Classic. The Bearcats took home their first in-season tournament title since 2003 on Monday against La Salle, as sophomore guard Kandance Newry drained the game-winning bucket with 19 seconds remaining to give Binghamton a 57-56 victory. Junior forward Sherae Swinson, the reigning America East Player of the Week, narrowly missed out on her second double-double of the season, finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds. Swinson was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Performer, while sophomore forward Morgan Murphy was also named to the All-Tournament Team.
The Bearcats rank eighth, just above UMBC, in scoring offense, averaging 50.3 points per game on the year, led by Swinson's 11.7 points, 1.2 steals and 0.8 blocks per game. Swinson is also chipping in 5.2 rebounds, second behind senior forward Julia Barac (5.3 rpg). Murphy is shooting a team-best 41.9 percent from the floor on the season and is scoring 6.8 points and pulling down 3.8 rebounds thus far in her sophomore campaign.
Binghamton was picked to finish eighth, one vote behind UMBC, in the America East Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Bearcats returned 10 letterwinners and three starters from last season's squad that finished 6-24 overall and 5-11 in league play. Murphy averaged 7.0 points per game in her rookie campaign to earn an America East All-Rookie Team selection.
INSIDE THE SERIES: UMBC has dropped four of the last six meetings against Binghamton, with both victories coming at the RAC Arena. The Bearcats swept the Retrievers last season, including a 62-45 victory in the regular-season finale, to take a 16-6 advantage in the all-time series. UMBC shot 25.9 percent from the floor in the second half of last season's outing, while Binghamton was led by then-freshman forward Morgan Murphy's 14 points, while then-junior Jasbriel Swain pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds.
ON THE HORIZON FOR THE RETRIEVERS: UMBC continues America East play when it travels to Maine for an ESPN3 matchup against the Black Bears. The Retrievers look for their first road win against Maine and look to extend their five game win streak versus the Black Bears.