BALTIMORE – UMBC women's basketball closes out the first half of its conference slate on Tuesday, Jan. 28 when it travels to defending America East champion Albany for a 7 p.m. matchup at SEFCU Arena. All the action can be seen live on the America East digital network.
SCOUTING THE RETRIEVERS (2-17, 1-6 AEC): UMBC shot 52.2 percent from the floor in the second half and had four players finish with double-digit points for the first time this season on Saturday, but the Hartford was able to fend off the Retrievers, 65-55, as UMBC fell for the sixth consecutive contest. Freshman guard Emily Russo finished with a season-high 12 points and added a game-best five assists, while freshmen Sara Tarbert, Taylor McCarley and Amanda Hagaman chipped in 10 points apiece.
Tarbert earned her third America East Rookie of the Week honors on Monday, after leading all the league's freshmen in scoring (18.0) and field goal percentage (.583). The Delta, Pa., native hit 10-of-15 shots at Stony Brook on Monday, Jan. 20 to reset her season-best with 26 points for her third 20-point performance of the season and chipped in her third consecutive double-digit effort in Saturday's contest versus Hartford. The forward leads the squad and ranks fifth in the league in scoring (12.8) and seventh in rebounding per game (7.0).
McCarley is chipping in 9.1 points per game on the season and 10.6 points during league play. Sophomore center Bridget O'Donnell leads the league in blocks per game (1.9) and is two blocks away from entering into UMBC's top-10 in the single-season blocks and four blocks away from the program's career list.
SCOUTING THE GREAT DANES (16-3, 6-0 AEC): Albany picked up its 29th consecutive victory against an America East team on Thursday, handing New Hampshire its first conference loss of the season, 88-47. The Great Danes shot 55.9 percent from the floor in the victory and were led by sophomore guard Shereesha Richards' 25 points and six rebounds. Sophomore center Megan Craig chipped in with 15 of her 19 points coming in the first half.
Albany ranks eighth in the nation in field goal percentage, knocking down 48.0 percent of its shots, in addition to ranking 18th in scoring defense (57.1) and scoring margin (+15.8). Richards ranks in the top-five in the country in field goal percentage (63.5) and the top-10 in points per game (22.9). The second-year guard has earned a league-best nine America East Player of the Week honors on the season and has tallied 12 double-doubles in 2013-14. Junior guard Sarah Royals is chipping in 12.6 points and a league-best 4.8 assists, while Craig is adding 10.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.
In her fourth season at the helm of Albany, Katie Abrahamson-Henderson returned one starter and seven letterwinners from last year's America East championship team that posted a 27-4 overall mark and a perfect 16-0 record in conference play. The Great Danes were picked as this year's unanimous No. 1 selection.
INSIDE THE SERIES: Albany has won the last five meetings versus UMBC to take a 12-9 lead in the all-time series. The Retrievers are 3-8 when playing on the Great Danes home court, including an 85-41 loss to Albany in the latest matchup. UMBC's last win at Albany came on Jan. 26, 2011, a 62-55 victory.
ON THE HORIZON FOR THE RETRIEVERS: UMBC opens the second half of the conference play when it hosts Maine on Saturday, Feb. 1 at the RAC Arena.