Women’s Basketball Opens Invitational Versus Norfolk State
BALTIMORE – UMBC women's basketball hits the road for a pair of contests in the James Madison Invitational. The Retrievers open the tournament on Sunday, Dec. 29 when it takes on Norfolk State at noon at the Convocation Center.
SCOUTING THE RETRIEVERS (1-9): The Retrievers are winless in their last nine games, including a heart-breaking 56-49 loss to Loyola in its most recent contest. UMBC built an 11-point advantage in the opening half, but committed all 13 of its turnovers in the second half and sent the Greyhounds to the foul line 32 times in the period. Freshmen forwards Sara Tarbert and Amanda Hagaman combined for 25 points and 15 rebounds in the contest, while sophomore center Bridget O'Donnell tallied career-highs in rebounds (11) and assists (five).
UMBC is led by Tarbert's 15.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, ranking second and fourth, respectively in the America East. The rookie forward has scored double-digit points in eight of 10 games on the season and has led the Retrievers in scoring eight times. Hagaman is shooting a team-best 57.6 percent from the floor and is averaging 4.0 points and 3.2 rebounds off the bench. Classmate Taylor McCarley has proved herself to be a viable scoring option for the Retrievers, scoring 8.6 points a game and chipping in 3.3 boards.
SCOUTING THE SPARTANS (4-6): After dropping three straight games, Norfolk State has been victorious in two of its last three contests, including a convincing 116-40 victory against Virginia University - Lynchburg on Dec. 20. Senior forward Rachel Gordon led the way for the Spartans, registering her fourth double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Six Spartans finished with double-digit points, including 18 from junior forward Ebony Brown chipped in 18.
Norfolk State has three players averaging double-digit points on the season, led by red-shirt junior guard Rae Corbo's 14.4 points per game. Corbo also leads the squad in assists (37) and steals (11). Brown is pitching in 11.8 points, while Gordon is averaging a double-double at 11.6 points and a team-best 13.5 rebounds. Freshman forward Logan Powell is the reigning MEAC Rookie of the Week after averaging 13.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in a pair of contests for the Spartans. Powell is scoring 7.1 points and 5.2 rebounds on the season.
The Spartans finished with a 7-22 overall mark last season and returns two starters and five letterwinners from a squad that tied for 10th in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference a year ago. Head coach Debra Clark welcomes six newcomers to her squad which was picked to finish 11th in the MEAC.
Inside the Series: This is the first meeting for UMBC and Norfolk State. The Retrievers are 34-35 all-time against teams that are currently in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
On the horizon for the retrievers: UMBC takes on either James Madison or Ohio in the second day of the James Madison Invitational. The Retrievers return to action following the New Year, when it hosts Binghamton in its America East opener on Jan. 4 at the RAC Arena.