Baltimore, Md.— UMBC women's basketball picked up a big 63-60 win on Wednesday against the Albany Great Danes. UMBC used stout defense in the second half to engineer a comeback from 14 points down to win their fifth straight and nine of their last ten.
UMBC improves to 14-12, 9-4 AE while Albany drops to 15-11, 9-4 AE.
Senior Taylor McCarley (Bowie, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) led the way with 21 points adding seven rebounds and five assists. McCarley also had a season best 14 free throws in the win. Laura Castaldo (West Nyack, N.Y./Clarkstown South) added 16 and seven rebounds, while Pandora Wilson (Gaithersburg, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) had 15 points for UMBC.
Imani Tate led the Great Danes with 21 points, picking up seven rebounds and five assists.
The Retrievers hit their stride in the third quarter, going on a 17-2 run over a five minute stretch to come all the way back to tie the contest. Castaldo had seven points on the run, including a big and one. She would hit another and one to give the Retrievers their first lead of the game late in the third.
The Great Danes would force a tie after the third, setting up a frenetic fourth quarter.
UMBC would push in front after four quick points from Wilson. However the defense is what helped the Retrievers keep Albany at bay during the fourth. Big steals from Emily Russo (Woodbine, Md./Glenelg) would help maintain the Retriever advantage, as both sides went back and forth scoring.
However a big block from Allison McGrath (South Park, Pa./South Park) late, sealed a 63-60 win for the Retrievers on Wednesday.
There were five ties and 11 lead changes in the game, sweeping the season series for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
Albany started the contest on a 6-0 run, taking a lead they would not relinquish in the half. The Retrievers broke the run with a Pandora Wilson three to cut the deficit in half. However the Great Danes would take a 19-11 lead after one, holding the Retrievers to 3-13 from the field in the opening ten minutes.
The Retrievers would get the Great Dane lead down to four early in the second after back-to-back threes from Laura Castaldo and Allison McGrath. From there, both teams had trouble finding the basket as both sides went without a field goal for four minutes.
Albany would go on a 6-0 run in just over a minute to extend their lead to ten, and would make it 12 on an Imani Tate jumper.
Wilson answered the run with a put back layup to end a six minute field goal drought for UMBC. Albany would take a 35-25 lead into the locker rooms, holding the Retrievers to 27 percent shooting in the opening 20 minutes.
The Retrievers will hit the road to take on UMass Lowell on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 1 p.m.