RETRIEVER WOMEN’S HOOPS LOOKS TO GET BACK ON WINNING TRACK AT LAFAYETTE

Baltimore, Md. – The UMBC Women's Basketball team (3-2) heads across state lines for the first time this season to take on Lafayette (2-3) in Easton, Pa., Thursday night at 7 p.m. Lafayette is UMBC's first of back-to-back games against the Patriot League, taking on American at home on Saturday, Dec. 11. Fans can follow live stats of the game by clicking on the link on the Retrievers' schedule to Lafayette's Game Tracker.

RETRIEVER UPDATE: UMBC lost to Radford, 47-42 on Tuesday night at UMBC RAC Arena as the Highlanders snapped UMBC's three-game win streak. Matea Pender led UMBC with 15 points and eight rebounds, scoring double-digits for the fourth game in a row in the losing effort. UMBC fell into trouble from the start as Radford went 7-of-9 to open the game and 3-of-4 from three-point range compared to UMBC's 2-for-9, 1-for-4 beginning as the Highlanders took a 17-7 lead with 12:43 left in the first half, all seven of those points for UMBC coming from Pender. UMBC took the lead at halftime following a 16-2 run but scored a single half season-low 19 points in the second half as the Highlanders picked up their first win of the year.

LAFAYETTE UPDATE: The Leopards are closing out a three-game home stand with UMBC on Thursday night. Lafayette is led by Kara Satler with 11.2 ppg and Vaness Van DeVenter, who was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week for the second time this season last week, with 9.8 ppg.

Who's Up Next: The Retrievers play their second consecutive Patriot League foe when they host American on Saturday night at UMBC RAC Arena at 7:00 p.m.

All-time Series vs. Lafayette

Last Meeting: NA

First Meeting: NA

UMBC's last win: NA

Streak: NA

Series Record: First Meeting

QUICK HITS:

  • · UMBC's contest against Lafayette marks their first meeting ever with the Leopards.
  • · UMBC is in the midst of three-games in five days and plays back-to-back contests against Patriot League schools in Lafayette and American.
  • · UMBC with a win will tie their total amount of wins set last year.
  • · Radford, the fifth game of the season, was UMBC's first out-of-state opponent and Lafayette is the Retrievers first out-of-state road contest this season. UMBC is 0-1 vs. non-Maryland based schools and 3-1 against in-state foes this year.
  • · Radford snapped UMBC's three game win streak, their longest since winning three in a row in their final year in the Northeast Conference (2002-03).
  • · UMBC went on a 16-2 run and held Radford scoreless the final 10:17 of the first half to take a 23-19 lead at halftime.
  • · UMBC has led in four games and been tied once at halftime this season…
  • · Matea Pender scored 15 points for her fourth straight double-digit performance. She has led UMBC in scoring in three contests this year.
  • · UMBC finished with 11 assists despite entering the game averaging 20.82 per game, tops in the America East Conference. UMBC is averaging 18.6 per game
  • · Pender tallied a career-high two blocks and UMBC finished with three in the game against Radford. UMBC ranks 5th in the conference in blocked shots
  • · The Retrievers shot a season-low 34.8 percent from the field against Radford. UMBC entered the game shooting over 40.0 percent in every contest.
  • · In UMBC wins this year they have hit at least six treys, they finished with five against Radford.
  • · UMBC entered their game against Radford with a chance to tie their best start, 4-1 in 1989-90, in their Division-I era (UMBC became D-I prior to the 1986-87 season).

NEWS AND NOTES:

UMBC's 3-1 Start Best Since 1989-90 Season…The Retrievers started the season at 3-1, getting off to their best start since going 4-1 to start the 1989-90 campaign. UMBC's 4-1 start in 1989-90 is the Retrievers best start in their Division-I era, which began at the start of the 1986-87 season. UMBC's best start ever is when they went 9-1 to begin the 1985-86 season.

Retrievers In Top-10 in First NCAA Statistics Release...UMBC ranked as a team in the top-10 in two NCAA statistic charts in the first release of National Statistics. The NCAA releases on Monday's updated national statistics with the first release on Dec. 6, 2004. The Retrievers ranked seventh in assists per game with 20.5 per game and eighth in three-point field goals per game as a team with an 8.3 average. Individual thru games of Dec. 6, Brittnie Hughes ranked 21st in assists per game with 6.3 and Matea Pender ranked 39th in field goal percentage and 14th in three-point field goal percentage shooting 58.1 and 55.6 percent respectively.

Finishing Strong…In UMBC's three wins this year they have tallied over 30-points in the second half while in their two losses they have scored less than 25 points in the remaining 20-minutes. The Retrievers against Radford scored a single-half season-low 19 points in the second half as their four-point halftime lead was erased by the Highlanders.

Defense Wins Games…UMBC and the America East Conference are proving defense wins games. UMBC is 3-0 this season when holding an opponent to below 40.0 from the field. Three of the top-four teams in the conference standings, Hartford (4-1), Albany (4-2) and UMBC (3-2) are also the best defensive squads in the league. The Hawks boast America East's most stingy defense, allowing their opponents to score just 49.5 ppg, while the Retrievers (53.4 ppg) and the Great Danes (55.5 ppg) are second and third respectively. UMBC also ranks third in defensive field goal percentage holding team's to 37.4 percent. UMBC averages 9.00 spg and has double-digit in steals as a team in three games compared to just once all of last year. Brittnie Hughes ranks third and Sharri Rohde ranks seventh in the conference in steals.

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 have dropped 38 treys in five games, a 7.60 per game average which is tops in the AE charts. UMBC last year set new America East records in their first season 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 12 treys in five games, a 2.4 average.

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 percentage is 32 assists on 32 field goals set in 1986 by St. Louis against Loyola (Ill.).

Pender's Second 20-Point Night Earns Her League Honors… UMBC Women's Basketball junior forward Matea Pender was named Wilson Co-Player of the Week for the week ending Nov. 28, 2004. Pender, with a game-high 25 points, led UMBC to an 87-52 victory over Morgan State. Pender over a two-game span averaged 22.5 ppg as she registered 20-point performances in both those contests. Pender during that stretch went 17-of-27 (62.0 percent) from the field and 7-of-13 (52.8 percent) from three-point range.

Retrievers Run At Record Books With Big Night Against Morgan State…UMBC's 35-point victory over Morgan State (87-52) is their largest margin of victory against a Division I opponent since scoring a 95-49 (46-point) victory over Coppin State on Feb. 1, 1988. The 35-point victory ties for second largest margin of victory against a D-I opponent as UMBC defeated Coppin State on Jan. 22, 1987 by a final of 91-56 (35-points).

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 46.0 percent on the season, tops in the America East Conference to date.

Retrievers Go With Pender…UMBC is following the lead of junior Matea Pender as the Retrievers are 3-1 in games Pender has scored double-digits. In UMBC wins, Pender is averaging 18.7 ppg, is shooting 55.3 percent (21-of-38) from the field and 56.3 percent (9-of-16) from three-point range. Pender already has two 20-point performances, topping last season 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 Morgan State was three treys off their school record of 14 set by the Retrievers last year at Northeastern. Matea Pender led UMBC with five three-point baskets while Heather Luttrell had two treys and four others had one each.

UMBC Clearing The Glass…The Retrievers grabbed 46 rebounds in their game against Morgan State last week as Sharri Rohde led the Retrievers with seven boards. UMBC never reach 40 total rebounds in their 28 games last year and 46 boards are the most rebounds by a UMBC team in the Stern era.

Retrievers Showing Unselfish Play…UMBC as a team recorded 20 assists or more in each of their first four games, eclipsing their total amount of assists in any one game all of last year with 21 in each of the first two. Leading the way is Brittnie Hughes with 29 assists on the season and Sharri Rohde with 18. UMBC's school record for team assists in a game is 27. The Retrievers have 93 assists on the season, an 18.6 assist per game average, which ranks in first place in the America East team statistics charts. UMBC ranks second in assist/turnover ratio at 1.07.

Coming To Play…The UMBC freshman class has come to the play with three of UMBC's 11 double-digit scorers in the first five games coming from Retriever rookies. Kristin Drabyn is averaging 7.8 ppg and has two double-digit performances on the year while Morgan Hatten dropped 11 points in her collegiate debut. Fellow freshman Amanda Robinson has recorded four blocks, four steals and cleared 13 boards to date.

Hughes Lending A Helping Hand…Brittnie Hughes, who saw action in 11 games last year, has handed out 29 assists on the year, including a career-high seven assists against Navy. Hughes in the first four games handed out at least six assists. At least six assists was only reached on two occasions all of last year. Hughes ranks second in the conference charts with a 5.8 apg average.

Getting Ahead Early...UMBC has led or been tied at half in all five games, including taking a 30-point advantage over Morgan State with 50-first half points. Last season UMBC did not lead at half for the first nine games of the season and trailed in 24-of-28 games at halftime.

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.

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.

No Charity Allowed...Over the last two seasons Head Coach Phil Stern's squads ranked in the top-five in the country in fewest fouls per game. Last year the Retrievers as a team finished second nationally at 13.3 fouls per game. UMBC finished fifth in the nation two years ago in fouls per game at 13.5.

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 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.

Infirmary Report: UMBC prior to the season lost freshman Zuzana Kasanová to an ACL tear to her knee. Kasanová will red shirt this 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).