BALTIMORE – UMBC women's basketball continues its homestand with a Sunday matchup against Vermont at the RAC Arena. Tip-off is set for noon, with all the live action available on UMBCRetrievers.tv, courtesy of the America East digital network.
SCOUTING THE RETRIEVERS (2-22, 1-11 AEC): UMBC and freshman forward Sara Tarbert gave league front-runner Albany all it could handle on Tuesday night, holding the Great Danes to its lowest point total in an America East contest this season. The Retrievers shot 53.8 percent from the floor, with Tarbert leading the way by draining 10 of her 11 shots for a team-best 23 points, but Albany used a 14-2 second-half run to extend its conference regular-season winning streak to 35 games in a 56-46 victory. Sophomore center Bridget O'Donnell chipped in eight points, while freshman forward Amanda Hagaman added eight points off the bench.
The Retrievers are holding America East opponents to 37.2 percent shooting from the floor, ranking second in the league, and ranking third in the AEC in scoring defense (58.8), but UMBC has given up a league-most 86 three-point field goals during conference play.
Tarbert continues her stellar play during her rookie campaign, extending her double-digit scoring streak to eight games, including three 20-point efforts during the span. Tarbert leads all America East freshmen in scoring (13.4) and has the fifth-highest point total of any UMBC rookie in program history (322). The freshman forward ranks fourth in the league in scoring, fifth in rebounding (6.9) and eighth in field goal percentage (.446).
O'Donnell leads the league in blocked shots (1.8) and is tied for third on UMBC's single-season block list (43). The second-year center is shooting 40.8 percent from the floor and is second on the team in rebounding (5.3 rpg).
SCOUTING THE CATAMOUNTS (6-18, 3-8 AEC): Vermont has dropped four in a row, including Wednesday's 87-71 loss at UMass Lowell. Freshman guard Kylie Butler tallied her fourth double-double of the season, finishing with a career-high 27 points and pulling down 12 rebounds in the losing effort. Junior forward Kayla Burchill returned to the hardwood after being sidelined for four games due to injury and registered the second double-double of her career with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
The Catamounts are surrendering a league-most 74.2 points per game during conference play, with team's shooting 46.7 percent against them, but UVM is shooting a league-best 34.7 percent from beyond the arc since America East play began.
Burchill is shooting 40.8 percent from three and 45.8 percent from the field to average a team-best 11.2 points per game, but the rookie has only seen action in 16 of the team's 24 games on the season. Junior forward Niki Taylor is adding 9.9 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, while Butler is chipping in 9.5 points and 6.3 rebounds. Taylor leads the America East in offensive rebounds per game during conference play (4.3), while Butler is atop of the league in three-point field goal percentage (.464).
Vermont was picked to finish fifth in the AEC preseason poll after posting a 10-21 overall record last season and tying for fourth in the league with a 6-10 conference mark. The Catamounts, who advanced to the league semifinals, topped the conference in offensive rebounds a season ago, averaging 14.6 offensive boards a contest. Head coach Lori Gear-McBride returns three starters and 10 letterwinners in her fourth season at the helm.
INSIDE THE SERIES: UMBC has dropped three of its last four to Vermont, including last season's America East Semifinal matchup in Albany, N.Y., which ended in a 47-43 Catamounts' victory. The Retrievers have not been swept by UVM since the 2009-10 season, which is the last time that UMBC lost on its home floor to the Catamounts.
2014 FIRST MEETING: UMBC dropped the first meeting of the season against Vermont, despite career-highs of 18 points and eight rebounds from freshman guard Taylor McCarley. The Retrievers eliminated a 13-point first-half deficit to take its only lead of the contest with 4:20 to go, but a late 11-2 run by UVM's Kristina White and Niki Taylor propelled the Catamounts to a 63-59 victory. Sophomore center Bridget O'Donnell matched a program-record with seven blocks in the contest.
ON THE HORIZON FOR THE RETRIEVERS: UMBC closes out its three-game homestand on Wednesday, Feb. 19 when it hosts Stony Brook in its annual Play4Kay contest at the RAC Arena.