BURLINGTON, Vt. – UMBC women's basketball's freshman guard Taylor McCarley (Bowie, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) posted a career-day going 12-for-15 from the foul line and finishing with season-bests in points (18) and rebounds (eight), while sophomore center Bridget O'Donnell (Belle Mead, N.J./Montgomery) matched a program-record with seven blocks, but a late 11-2 run by Vermont's Kristina White and Niki Taylor propelled the Catamounts to a 63-59 victory in Saturday afternoon's America East contest at Patrick Gymnasium.
The Retrievers attempted a season-high 32 free throws and connected on 25 of them, to help eliminate what was a 13-point first half deficit and take its only lead of the contest, 50-49, with 4:20 to go in the contest, by White knocked down a pair of three's and added a layup, while Taylor chipped in back-to-back post moves and a pair of free throws to close the door on the Retrievers comeback.
UMBC shot 33.3 percent from the floor in the game, but shot 78.1 percent from the free throw line, while Vermont shot 42.9 percent from beyond the arc. O'Donnell finished with six of her eight points coming in the second half, while freshman forward Sara Tarbert (Delta, Pa./Kennard-Dale) reached double-digit points, finishing with 10 points and six rebounds.
Vermont snaps a seven game skid to improve to 5-12 overall and 2-2 in league play, while UMBC (2-15, 1-4 AE) falls for the fourth consecutive game.
The Retrievers' shooting struggles continued in the early going, as UMBC hit three of its first 14 shots, went scoreless for a 7:12 span and turned the ball over five times en route to spotting Vermont a 21-8 advantage midway through the opening half. UVM junior forward Kayla Burchill scored all 10 of her 12 points during the span.
UMBC awoke in the second 10 minutes of the period, draining five-of-nine shots from the field, and took advantage of getting into the bonus with nearly nine minutes remaining in the stanza. The Retrievers used a 15-5 run over a 4:36 stretch to trim its deficit from 13 points to three points, 26-23, with 5:03 to go until the break.
Vermont hit 40.6 percent of its shots and 42.9 percent of its three-point field goals in the opening half, but the Retrievers knocked down 12 shots from the charity stripe, including eight of McCarley's 12 first half points coming from the free throw line. The Catamounts took a 36-30 advantage into the break behind 14 points from freshman guard Kylie Butler. Butler would end the contest with 16 points and six rebounds.
Despite the Catamounts extending their lead back up to nine points, 45-36, with 13:16 to go, Tarbert and McCarley posted an 8-0 run to pull UMBC within one, 45-44. Minutes later the Retrievers took their first lead of the contest, 50-49, behind four-straight points from O'Donnell, however, White responded with her third trey of the game to give control back to the Catamounts, before later putting the nail in the coffin with her 16th point of the contest.
White drained four of her six attempts from long range and added five rebounds, while Taylor chipped the double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Retrievers outrebounded an opponent for the second time this season, holding a 38-35 advantage, but Vermont was able to turn UMBC's 20 turnovers into 21 points.
UMBC has a short turnaround, jumping back into action on Sunday, Jan. 20 at Stony Brook. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. at Pritchard Gymnasium.
-Vermont takes a 14-9 lead in the all-time series after winning two-straight games against the Retrievers.
-Bridget O'Donnell matched a program-record with seven blocks, a mark held by Topé Obajolu when she posted seven on Jan. 22, 2012, also against Vermont.
-Janelle Saling has at least one three in 10 consecutive games.