DURHAM, N.H. – UMBC women's basketball held New Hampshire to 13 first-half points, but the Wildcats outscored the Retrievers 33-17 in the second half en route to a 46-35 victory in America East action on Thursday night at Lundholm Gymnasium.
Freshman forward Sara Tarbert (Delta, Pa./Kennard-Dale) scored a team-best 12 points and added five rebounds, while classmate Taylor McCarley (Bowie, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) chipped in nine points and six rebounds.
The Wildcats improve to 14-8 on the year and 8-1 in league action, while UMBC falls to 2-20 on the season and 1-9 in conference play.
New Hampshire struck first, knocking down three of four free throws to start the game, but the Wildcats drained one of its first 12 shots, allowing the Retrievers to use a 9-0 run en route to a 12-5 lead. Neither team was able to get into a rhythm, as UMBC hit 21.7 percent of its attempts in the half and UNH knocked down 19.0 percent. The Retrievers' defense helped UMBC to garner an 18-13 lead at the break, marking the lowest point total in the opening period by a Retrievers' opponent since Maine was held to 11 points in the first half on Jan. 5 of last season.
Despite extending its lead to seven, 20-13, in the opening minute of the second half, the Retrievers were unable to shoot much better in the period. UMBC was held scoreless for nearly six minutes, allowing the Wildcats to chip away at the deficit and eventually tie the game at 25 with 11:34 to go in the contest. A Tarbert field goal with 10:16 to go momentarily stopped the Retrievers' drought, but UMBC did not score again for another span of 5:35, making way for a 9-0 run that gave UNH a 36-27 advantage.
New Hampshire picked up its shooting in the second half, draining 11-of-23 attempts from the field in the period, while UMBC committed eight of its 13 turnovers in the final 20 minutes of play. Junior forward Kaylee Kilpatrick led the charge for the Wildcats, scoring 10 of her game-high 14 points in the half. Kilpatrick finished by hitting five-of-eight shots and adding eight rebounds and four assists.
UMBC returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 8 when it travels to Lowell, Mass., to take on UMass Lowell. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. at Costello Athletic Center.
-UMBC holds a 12-11 advantage in the all-time series, despite dropping its last two.
-Sara Tarbert reached double-figures for the sixth straight game.