Women’s Basketball Hosts Conference Newcomer UMass Lowell
BALTIMORE – The UMBC women's basketball team returns home on Saturday, Jan. 11, when it hosts UMass Lowell in the first game of a UMBC basketball doubleheader at the RAC Arena. The Retrievers' women's basketball team opens the afternoon with a 1 p.m. tip-off, followed by the men's team facing off against Maine at 3:30 p.m. All the action can be seen live at UMBCRetrievers.tv courtesy of the America East digital network (now available on most mobile devices), or can be heard on Q1370 (www.q1370.com) with Troy Green and Dan Levin on the call.
SCOUTING THE RETRIEVERS (2-12, 1-1 AEC): UMBC evened its America East record to 1-1 after falling to Maine, 68-39, in front of an ESPN3 crowd on Wednesday evening. The Black Bears hit nine first-half threes and saw 31 of their points come off of UMBC turnovers. Freshman guard Taylor McCarley hit nine-of-12 free throws and finished with a career-high 16 points, while sophomore Liz McNaughton hit four-of-five attempts to reach double-digit points for the a career-best three consecutive games.
McNaughton has upped her scoring average from 1.8 ppg as a freshman to 6.0 ppg per game during the 2013-14 campaign. The second-year guard is 62 percent from the floor over the last three games and is averaging 10.7 points and 2.7 rebounds per game during the span. Freshman forward Sara Tarbert is the only Retriever scoring in double-figures, ranking seventh in the America East in scoring (12.6), while also ranking in fourth in rebounding (6.9). Sophomore center Bridget O'Donnell is third in the America East in blocked shots (18) and is seventh in defensive rebounds per game (4.5).
SCOUTING THE RIVER HAWKS (0-12, 0-2 AEC): UMass Lowell is winless in its inaugural Division I campaign, suffering a heart-breaking 65-64 contest to Binghamton in its latest contest. The River Hawks led by as many as 17 in the second half, but a 13-0 Binghamton run eliminated the Bearcats' deficit, allowing Morgan Murphy to score the game-winner with 20 seconds to go. Sophomore forward Lindsey Doucette notched her first-career double-double, scoring a career-high 24 points and adding 14 boards.
UML ranks fifth in the league in scoring, averaging 63.8 points per game, but are last in the conference in scoring defense, surrendering 89.3 points per contest. Junior guard Shannon Samuels is the only River Hawk to start all 12 games on the season and leads the squad in scoring (13.7 ppg), assists (3.2 apg) and steals (2.3 spg). Samuels ranks in the top-five in the league in both scoring (third) and steals (second). Doucette is chipping in 8.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks.
Newcomer UMass Lowell was picked to finish the season last in the America East conference, after posting an 18-9 record in Division II action last year. The River Hawks finished in fourth place in the Northeast-10 Conference with a 15-7 mark, but return just one starter from last season's squad.
INSIDE THE SERIES: UMBC faces off against conference-newcomer UMass Lowell for the first time.
ON THE HORIZON FOR THE RETRIEVERS: The Retrievers host their ninth annual Midday Madness contest on Jan. 15 versus New Hampshire at noon. The annual event, which welcomes local elementary and middle school students to campus, brought 2,905 fans to the RAC Arena last season, and is set to be even bigger in 2014.