UMBC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL LOOKS TO RETURN BACK TO ABOVE .500 AT HARTFORD

, Md. – The UMBC Women's Basketball team (5-5, 0-1 America East) looks to return to their winning ways as they travel to Hartford Conn., for a 12 p.m. showdown with the University of Hartford (7-3, 1-0 America East) on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2005 at The Reich Family Pavilion. The UMBCRetrievers.com Radio Show will be on the road with the Retrievers as Play-by-Play announcer Troy Green will bring all the action live through UMBCRetrievers.com radio broadcast.

RETRIEVER UPDATE: UMBC fell back to the .500 mark with their third consecutive loss in their conference opener against Stony Brook last Wednesday night. The Retrievers trailed in the game 31-27 at halftime and took the lead for the first time at the 16:29 mark in the second half on a trey from Matea Pender. The Retrievers however could not stay on top as Stony Brook broke a 66-66 tie with four seconds remaining to take the lead for good and grab the 68-66 victory. Pender finished with a career-high 30-points, tying for 11th place on UMBC's all-time single game chart for points scored. Brittnie Hughes recorded 12 points with five assists and Heather Luttrell chipped in 12 points as well for the Retrievers.

HARTFORD UPDATE: Hartford is off to solid start and holds the top spot in the conference standings with a 1-0 league mark and 7-3 overall record. Head Coach Jen Rizzotti became Hartford's all-time leader in wins as the Hawks edged Boston University 51-50 last Wednesday night. Ikea Witt leads the team with 11.1 ppg and Erika Messam is averaging 10.6 ppg.

Who's Up Next: The Retrievers open their home conference schedule with Boston U. on Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. in UMBC RAC Arena.

All-time Series vs. Hartford: Meeting No. 4

Last Meeting: Feb. 28, 2004 (UMBC 48, Hartford 46) 

First Meeting: Dec. 29, 2002 (Hartford 60, UMBC 47)

Harford's last win: Jan. 10, 2004 (Hartford 55, UMBC 46) 

Streak: UMBC has won one in a row

Series Record: Hartford leads the series 2-1

QUICK HITS:

Against Hartford

* UMBC against Hartford marks the fourth meeting between the two programs, all four of which coming in the last three seasons. Hartford holds a 2-1 edge on the Retrievers despite UMBC winning the last meeting last year at RAC Arena, 48-46.

Back to .500

* UMBC opened the season with five wins in their first seven games but have fallen in their last three back to the .500 mark at 5-5. UMBC's five wins is the most since going 8-8 during the non-conference season in 1990-91, UMBC's first year in the East Coast Conference and four years after going Division-I

Pender joins 30-point night club

* Matea Pender had a career night for UMBC at Stony Brook, scoring a career-high 30 points against the Seawolves on 7-of-15 shooting from the field and 6-of-8 shooting from three-point range. Pender's 30-points rank tied for 11th on UMBC's all-time single-game points scored chart. The last time a UMBC player hit 30-points in a game was Shalayna Johnson on March 1, 2003 when she set the school record with 37 against Quinnipiac.

Block Party

* UMBC in their last three games has 13 blocks as a team, six from Sharri Rohde. Rohde set a career-high three blocks against Towson. In a course of the last five games UMBC has 19 blocks.

On the Road

* The Retrievers are currently on a three-game road stretch that has them playing at Towson, Stony Brook and Hartford. The Retrievers are 2-2 away from home this season.

Strong Start

* UMBC with their 67-49 win over American reached five wins in their first seven games, the fastest in the program's Division-I history in reaching five wins topping 10 games in 1994-95 and 1990-91.

Pender's lead

* In UMBC's five wins this season Matea Pender is averaging 20.6 ppg, shooting 58.5 percent from the field (38-of-65) and 66.7 percent from three-point range (20-of-30). In four of those five games Pender has scored 20 or more points. In games lost Pender is averaging 11.2 ppg.

Halftime story

* UMBC after leading or being tied at halftime in their first six games has trailed opponents heading into the break the four contests, three of which were losses.

Turnover Battle

* UMBC is 0-2 this season when losing the turnover battle and 5-3 when causing more turnovers then committing.

40-Minute Night

* Three players play 40-minutes against Stony Brook as Matea Pender, Sharri Rohde and Heather Luttrell all logged the max minutes. The last time UMBC recorded three 40-minute players was against Northeastern on Jan. 17, 2004, one of which was Sharri Rohde.

Conference Leaders

* UMBC as a team leads the conference in field goal percentage, three-point field goals made, assists and assist to turnover ratio. Matea Pender is the league leader in three-point percentage and three-point field goals made.

Goncharova Questionable

* Anastasia Goncharova has not played the last two games after an ankle injury in practice following Christmas break. Her status is questionable for Saturday's game.

NEWS AND NOTES:

Retrievers in Top-20 in Latest NCAA Statistics Release...UMBC ranked as a team in the top-20 in the NCAA statistic charts in three-point field goals per game and assists per game as of games thru Jan. 3, 2005. The Retrievers rank 12th in three-point field goals per game as a team with a 7.3 average. UMBC ranked 18th in assists per game as a team with a 17.9 per game average.

Pender Holds Second Slot on NCAA Charts...Matea Pender continued to hold her rank of second place on the NCAA national statistics chart for three-point field goal percentage (60.6 percent) as of games thru Jan. 3, 2005. Pender also ranks 30th in treys per game at 2.6.

Rookies Take A Seat...For the first time since the Retrievers' NEC title game at the end of the 2002-03 season, a UMBC freshman did not record any playing time as UMBC against Stony Brook played all upper classmen the entire game. The game broke a span of 38 games where a freshman had recorded playing time.

Long Range Shooters...UMBC is becoming well known for their three-point shooting as they lead the league once again in three-point field goals per game. The Retrievers are averaging 7.4 treys per game, tops in the AE charts. UMBC last year set new America East records in their first season in the conference from behind the arc, recording the conference's all-time best three-point field goals made mark at 194 for the season and the attempted mark as well at 578. Matea Pender leads UMBC with 29 treys, a 2.9 per game average.

Pender Named America East Co-Player of the Week For Second Time This Season...UMBC junior Matea Pender was named America East Co-Player of the Week for the week ending Dec. 12, 2004. Pender had a stellar week for the Retrievers dropping double-digits in three-consecutive games to up her streak to six-straight double-digit performances and scored her third and fourth 20-plus point performances of the year. Pender on the week shot 58.3 percent from the floor (21-of-36) and an outstanding 72.2 percent from three-point range (13-of-18). Against Lafayette she tallied a career-high six made three-point baskets (6-of-8), netting 22-points, and followed that up going 5-of-6 from behind the arc two nights later against American as she led UMBC with 25-points.

Retrievers Go With Pender…UMBC is following the lead of junior Matea Pender as the Retrievers are 5-2 in games Pender has scored double-digits. In UMBC wins, Pender is averaging 20.6 ppg, shooting 58.5 percent (38-of-65) from the field and 66.7 percent (20-of-30) from three-point range. Pender already has five 20-point plus performances, topping last season's one 20-point performance the entire year. Courtney Doughman produced that performance with a 22-point effort against Albany.

Retrievers Dial Long Distance…UMBC's 11 three-point baskets against Lafayette and their 11 versus Morgan State was three treys off their school record of 14 set by the Retrievers last year at Northeastern. UMBC has hit double-digits in three-point field goals made on three occasions this season and is 5-1 when hitting at least seven treys.

Retrievers Showing Unselfish Play…UMBC as a team recorded 20 assists or more in four games this season, eclipsing their total amount of assists in any one game all of last year with 21 in each of the first two. Against Lafayette UMBC set a season-high 23 assists as a team. Leading the way is Brittnie Hughes with 44 assists on the season and Sharri Rohde with 37. UMBC's school record for team assists in a game is 27. The Retrievers are averaging 17.4 assists per game, ranking first in the America East team statistics charts. UMBC ranks first in assist/turnover ratio in the AE charts at 1.01.

20 Field Goals Made/20 Assists...UMBC against Navy recorded an assist on all 20 of their field goals made for a 100.0 percent assist to field goal percentage. Brittnie Hughes led UMBC with seven assists in the game. The NCAA record for assist to field goal's made is 32 assists on 32 field goals set in 1986 by St. Louis against Loyola (Ill.).

Retrievers Break Out The Offense…Shooting 55.6 percent (30-of-54) from the field, the UMBC Retriever scored 87 points against Morgan State. The last time UMBC scored at least 87 points in a game was on Feb. 14, 2000 with an 87-56 win over St. Francis (N.Y.). UMBC scored at least 80 points on one occasion since then, losing two years ago to Robert Morris, 85-82, 3OT. The Retrievers are shooting 43.8 percent on the season, tops in the America East Conference to date.

Hughes Named to All-Tournament Team…Sophomore Brittnie Hughes was named to the UMBC Retriever Tip-Off Tournament All-Tournament team after finishing the opening weekend with 9.0 ppg and 6.0 apg. Hughes also stole seven balls. Hughes set a career-high for points in a game in the first half against Coppin State and went on to set her new mark at 12 points.

UMBC Reaches Five Wins the Fastest in D-I Era…The Retrievers with their 67-49 win over American reached five wins the fastest in the Retrievers' program Division-I history. UMBC had four wins in their first six games this season entering that contested and reached five in their first seven games with the win. The fastest UMBC had hit five wins prior to this season was in their 10th game of the 1994-95 and 1990-91 seasons. UMBC's all-time fastest time was five wins in the first six games during the 1985-86 season.

Home Sweet Home...The Retrievers for the first time in their 36 seasons have 15 home games as UMBC welcomes six non-conference opponents and all-nine America East foes to RAC Arena in 2004-05. The Retrievers best home mark was a 10-0 record at RAC Arena in 1993-94. UMBC's career home record is 185-143.

Hitting The Airwaves…With the newly launched umbcretrievers.com, the majority of home games and a few road contests will be broadcast live on the internet through www.umbcretrievers.com. Play-by-Play announcer Troy Green will bring the action on all contests via the web. Umbcretrievers.com will also broadcast live stats for all men's and women's basketball home games. In addition UMBC will play a home televised contest as part of the America East Television package when UMBC hosts Hartford on Feb. 26 at 12 p.m. at UMBC RAC Arena. Currently the game is set to air on Metro TV NY and Fox Sports New England.

RETRIEVERS ON AIR

UMBCretrievers.com Radio

Nov. 20 Coppin State 4:00

Nov. 21 Mount St. Mary's 4:00

Dec. 7 Radford 7:00

Dec. 11 American 7:00

Dec. 18 Drexel 5:00

Dec. 28 at Towson 7:00

Jan. 8 at Hartford 12:00

Jan 12 Boston U. 7:00

Jan 15 Northeastern 7:00

Jan. 26 Maine 7:00

Jan. 29 New Hampshire 7:00

Feb. 5 Stony Brook 7:00

Feb. 19 Albany 7:00

Feb. 23 Vermont 7:00

Feb. 26 Hartford 12:00

Metro TV NY/Fox Sports Net

Feb. 26 Hartford 12:00

Live Stats

All homes games and selected away contests.

Retrievers No Longer New Beast In The America East…The Retrievers are no longer the new kids on the block in the America East Conference as they open their second season in the mid-major conference. Despite a full season in league play the Retrievers still received no love from their conference foes, being picked to finish 10th in the league for the second consecutive year.

Going Global…The Retrievers' 13-player roster contains three international players.

Senior Anastasia Goncharova is from Russia junior Matea Pender is a native of Croatia and freshman Zuzana Kasanová hails from the Slovak Republic. In addition to players from the around the world, the majority of UMBC's squad is from outside the state lines. Tyecia Powell (Baltimore, Md.), Amanda Robinson (Lusby, Md.) and Morgan Hatten (Potomac, Md.) are the Retrievers' women's hoops only Maryland natives.

Kasanová To Redshirt Freshman Year...UMBC prior to the season lost freshman Zuzana Kasanová to an ACL tear to her knee. Kasanová will red shirt this season and have all four years of eligibility at the start of the 2005-06 season.

Retrievers Ink Three For 2005-06…UMBC head women's basketball coach Phil Stern announced the signings of three student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to attend UMBC for the 2005-06 academic year. The list includes Melissa Book (Raleigh, N.C./Millbrook High School), Mackenzie Butler (Reno, Nev./Reno High School) and Suzanne Morris (Cleveland, Tenn./Walker Valley High School).