BALTIMORE – UMBC women's basketball returns hits the road for America East action on Wednesday, Jan. 8 when it takes on Maine in an ESPN3 matchup at the Cross Insurance Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m., with Ed Cohen and Vera Jones calling all the action.
SCOUTING THE RETRIEVERS (2-11, 1-0 AEC): UMBC opened up the new year and its conference play by snapping an 11-game skid with a 47-32 victory against Binghamton on Saturday. The Retrievers shot 52.2 percent from the floor in the opening half and their defense held Binghamton to a season-low 32 points, marking the first UMBC opponent to score less than 40 points since Vermont scored 32 on Feb. 9, 2011. Freshman forward Sara Tarbert and sophomore guard Liz McNaughton each played the entire 40 minutes in the contest and scored 13 and 10 points, respectively. Tarbert added a game-high nine rebounds and three assists in the victory.
The Retrievers' defense, which ranks second in the America East in field goal defense on the season (.374), held Binghamton to 22.8 percent shooting from the floor on Saturday. Tarbert leads the Retrievers offensively, ranking third in the league in rebounds (7.2 rpg), fourth in scoring (13.5 ppg) and seventh in assists (2.9 apg). McNaughton is shooting 54.5 percent from the floor over the last three games and is averaging 9.3 points per game over the span, while junior guard Janelle Saling has knocked down 45.0 percent of her three point attempts during the time frame to also average 9.3 points.
SCOUTING THE BLACK BEARS (6-8, 0-1 AEC): Maine has lost six of its last seven games, including a 66-56 overtime loss to Hartford in its America East opener on Dec. 11. In its latest contest, the Black Bears dropped a heart-breaker to Yale, falling 86-85 at the Cross Insurance Center. Four of Maine's five starters finished with double-digit points, including a game-high 23 points from sophomore forward Liz Wood. Senior guard Ashleigh Roberts chipped in two of her 18 points with 15 seconds remaining to put the Black Bears ahead, but a Yale layup as time expired represented the game-winner.
Roberts leads Maine's offense with 13.1 points and 5.7 rebounds per game on the season, while Woods is chipping in 12.4 points and a team-best 6.9 rebounds. Senior guard Cherrish Wallace is the third Black Bear averaging double-digit points, scoring 11.5 points and dishing out 4.5 assists per contest.
Maine returned five letterwinners and four starters from last season's squad that finished ninth in the America East and registered a 4-24 overall record. Head coach Richard Barron welcomed back America East Co-Rookie of the Year Liz Wood in his third season at the helm of the program. The Black Bears were picked to finish sixth in the preseason poll.
INSIDE THE SERIES: UMBC travels to Maine for its first meeting inside the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine. The Retrievers have won five in a row against the Black Bears and has won four of its last five on Maine's home court. UMBC holds an 11-9 advantage in the all-time series, including an 86-79 victory in Orono last season. Four players finished in double-figures in the win for the Retrievers, including a pair of 20-point efforts from then-seniors Brittany Crowell and Raven Harris.
ON THE HORIZON FOR THE RETRIEVERS: UMBC returns home for back-to-back home games, starting with conference newcomer UMass Lowell on Jan. 11. The Retrievers follow with their ninth annual Midday Madness contest on Jan. 15 versus New Hampshire.