BALTIMORE – The UMBC women's basketball team opened the New Year on a high note by
snapping an 11-game skid with a 47-32 victory in its America East opener against Binghamton on Saturday afternoon at the RAC Arena. Freshman forward Sara Tarbert (Delta, Pa./Kennard-Dale) earned America East Player of the Game honors by nearly tabbing a double-double with a game-high 13 points and nine rebounds.
The Retrievers spread out their scoring in the contest, with all seven players that entered the game scoring a point. Sophomore guard Liz McNaughton (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax) hit four of her eight shots on the afternoon to finish with 10 points and four rebounds, while Amanda Hagaman (Manasquan, N.J./Manasquan) and Janelle Saling (Lathrop, Mo./Lathrop/Highland CC) chipped in six points apiece off the bench.
UMBC limited the Bearcats to a season-low 32 points to pick up its second win of the season to improve to 2-11 overall and 1-0 in league play, while Binghamton drops its conference opener and falls to 3-11 on the year.
The Retrievers shot exceptionally well from the floor in the opening half and did so right out of the gate, as Tarbert and McNaughton knocked down UMBC's first three shot attempts. UMBC would shoot 52.2 percent from the field in the first stanza, including four-of-eight from beyond the arc.
Saling came off the bench and knocked down a pair of treys to spark a 12-4 run to help the Retrievers extend their advantage to double-digits, 24-13, with 4:19 remaining in the first period. Binghamton shot 25.0 percent from the field in the first half, allowing the black and gold to lead by as many as 13 and take a 12-point advantage into the break, 30-18.
The Retrievers cooled off in the second, but so did the Bearcats, as the two teams combined for 31 points in the period. Binghamton's America East Player of the Game Morgan Murphy looked to chip away at the Bearcats deficit early in the second half with a layup and a pair of free throw attempts, but the Retrievers scored 11 of the game's next 13 points to take its largest lead of the afternoon, 43-23, with 10:07 remaining. Murphy finished the contest with a team-best seven points.
UMBC allowed the Bearcats to trim its deficit down the stretch, as the Retrievers were held to one field goal over the final eight minutes of the contest. The Retrievers, who did not trail in the contest, committed nine of their 14 turnovers in the second half.
The black and gold held a 14 point advantage in points in the paint in the game.
UMBC hits the national stage when it travels to Maine for an ESPN3 America East matchup. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at Cross Insurance Center.
-UMBC wins for the first time in the last three tries against Binghamton and moves to 7-16 all-time versus the Bearcats.
-UMBC moves to 4-8 in America East openers and 8-4 in America East home openers.
-UMBC held Binghamton to a season-low 32 points, marking the lowest point total for a Retriever opponent since Vermont scored 32 points on Feb. 9, 2011.
-Janelle Saling now has a three in each of her last six games, including two-or-more in the last three
-Taylor McCarley snagged a season-best three steals in the contest.