BALTIMORE – Midday Madness returns to the RAC Arena for the ninth straight season on Wednesday, Jan. 15 when UMBC women's basketball hosts New Hampshire in America East action. Tip-off is set for noon, with 28 local elementary and middle schools set to be in attendance. All the live action will be available, free of charge, on UMBCRetrievers.tv, courtesy of the America East digital network.
RECORD CROWD POURS INTO THE RAC: UMBC, who will host its ninth annual Midday Madness on Wednesday, Jan. 15 against New Hampshire, will look to match last year's record crowd that poured in to watch the Retrievers' nationally-televised 70-59 victory against Stony Brook. The annual event, which welcomes local elementary and middle school students to campus, brought 2,905 fans to the RAC Arena a year ago. UMBC is 4-4 all-time during its Midday Madness games at the RAC Arena, which started in 2006, and has since averaged 1,873 fans.
SCOUTING THE RETRIEVERS (2-13, 1-2 AEC): UMBC dropped its second league contest in a row on Saturday, falling, 65-57, to conference newcomer UMass Lowell. The Retrievers went scoreless over the final 4:30 and allowed the River Hawks to go on a 10-0 run to close out the game. Freshman forward Sarah Tarbert notched her third double-double of the season with 16 points and a season-high 13 rebounds, while classmate Emily Russo narrowly missed out on a triple-double, finishing with 10 rebounds, nine points and seven assists, while also adding a season-best four steals.
Rookie guard Taylor McCarley garnered her first America East Rookie of the Week honors after leading the Retrievers in scoring last week, at 12.0 points per game and added 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals. The freshman hit 9-of-12 free throws en route to a season-high 16 points versus Maine, while chipping in a season-best six rebounds. McCarley also added a season-best four steals versus UMass Lowell. On the season, McCarley ranks second on the team in scoring (8.5 ppg) and steals (1.1 spg).
Tarbert stands as the only Retrievers averaging in double-figures at 12.9 points per game and is adding 7.3 rebounds, both ranking fourth in the America East. Russo is the only UMBC player to start all 15 games on the season and stands in the top-10 in the league assists (3.2 pg) and steals (1.5 pg).
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS (7-7, 1-0 AEC): New Hampshire has won three straight, including its America East opener against Stony Brook on Saturday. Senior guard Kelsey Hogan led the Wildcats to a 71-68 overtime victory, scoring a career-high 35 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field. Red-shirt sophomore center Corinne Coia added 12 points and six rebounds in the victory.
The duo of Hogan and Coia combine for 24.0 of the Wildcats' points per game on the season. Hogan, a preseason all-conference selection, ranks in the top-10 in the league in scoring (12.6 ppg) and three-point field goals made per game (1.4). Sophomore guard Elizabeth Belanger is pulling down a team-best 6.9 rebounds per game, good for fifth in the conference.
New Hampshire was picked to finish fourth in the AEC preseason poll after upsetting No. 4 Stony Brook in the America East Quarterfinals a year ago. The Wildcats fell to eventual-champion Albany in the semifinals, but their quarterfinal victory marked its first America East tournament win since 2005. The Wildcats return eight letterwinners and three starters from a squad that finished 12-18 overall and 6-10 in America East play.
INSIDE THE SERIES: UMBC holds a 12-9 overall record against New Hampshire, including a 6-4 advantage in games played at the RAC Arena. The Retrievers and Wildcats have split their regular-season meetings in each of the last two seasons, but UMBC game out victorious in the America East Quarterfinals in 2012, 59-57. UMBC snagged a 59-50 victory in the last meeting between the two squads on Feb. 13, 2013. Seniors Kristin Coles and Raven Harris each tallied 16 points in the game and combined for 16 rebounds in the Retrievers' fifth annual Play4Kay contest.
ON THE HORIZON FOR THE RETRIEVERS: The Retrievers jump back on the road for a pair of contests over the holiday weekend, traveling to Vermont at Saturday, Jan. 18, followed by a short turnaround versus Stony Brook on Monday, Jan. 20.