Retrievers Fend Off Comeback Attempt, Defeat Maine 66-62 on Saturday

Taylor McCarley had 21 points, 6 assists and 6 steals as UMBC wins their sixth of their last seven.
Taylor McCarley had 21 points, 6 assists and 6 steals as UMBC wins their sixth of their last seven.

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Baltimore, Md.— UMBC women's basketball won a seesaw battle, 66-62 against Maine on Saturday afternoon. The Retrievers had to fend off a furious rally from the Black Bears, as senior Taylor McCarley (Bowie, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) led the way with 21 points, six assists and six steals.

The Retrievers win their sixth of their last seven to improve to 11-12, 6-4 AE, while Maine falls to 12-13, 5-5 AE on the year.

McCarley led all scorers with 21 points on 8-11 shooting; adding six assists and six steals. Laura Castaldo (West Nyack, N.Y./Clarkstown South) chipped in 12 points and five caroms.

Laia Sole led the Black Bears with 15 points, as Anita Kelava poured in ten points on Saturday.

UMBC held Maine to just 9-29 from three, and 26-67 (38 percent) from the floor. The Retrievers shot 45 percent from the field, going 11-17 from the charity stripe in the win.

The Retrievers would take a lead into the fourth quarter, pushing their advantage to ten after back-to-back layups from Castaldo. However the Black Bears would climb all the way back, going on a 9-0 run in a minute span to retake the lead at 62-60 late.

A driving layup from Tey'Jah Oliver (Clinton, Md./Riverdale Baptist) tied the game at 62 all, setting up a frenetic finish.

McCarley would hit the go ahead layup with 45 seconds to go off of a timeout. Maine would have a chance to take the lead, but their three attempt went off the shot clock and out of bounds. McCarley would knock down a pair of free throws to seal the victory, 66-62 as the defense did not give up a shot in the final ten seconds.

There were 12 lead changes in the contest, as UMBC held Maine to without a field goal for the final two minutes of the game.

The game opened with both sides taking turns with the lead, as there was three lead changes in the opening stanza. The Retrievers raced out to a 16-10 lead, getting four points from Lakiah Sims (Riverdale, Ga./Charles Drew/Palm Beach State) and a big three from Laura Castaldo.

The Black Bears would end the quarter on a 6-0 run of their own to tie it up at 16-16 after the first ten minutes.

The trend would continue into the next quarter as both UMBC and Maine took turns with the lead. Maine would go on a 5-0 spurt midway through, keeping UMBC scoreless for just under three minutes to take control of the lead.  

However the Retrievers would fight back, getting six straight points from McCarley, capped with a steal and run-out to give control back to UMBC. Freshman Allison McGrath (South Park, Pa./South Park) would end the quarter with a big three to give the Retrievers a 32-31 lead.

McCarley led all scorers with 11 points, going 5-6 from the floor adding four assists. Castaldo added six points and a team best three rebounds.

The Retrievers would come out of the locker rooms on fire, taking the lead on a Tyler Moore three, and extending the advantage on a McCarley layup. They would take their largest lead of the game off a Sims offensive put back with the shot clock winding down.

McGrath would add to the advantage just before the end of the period with a pair of free throws to give UMBC a 50-41 lead heading into the fourth.

UMBC returns to action on Thursday, Feb. 9 with a road contest at Hartford at 7 p.m. The Retrievers will then head to Burlington for a Saturday tip-off with Vermont.