UMBC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL COLLIDES WITH DREXEL IN 5:00 P.M. MATCH SATURDAY

Baltimore, Md. – The UMBC Women's Basketball team (5-2) takes on Drexel University (3-2) on Saturday evening at UMBC RAC Arena as part of a double header with the UMBC men's team. The Retrievers game will air live on UMBCRetrievers.com Radio as play-by-play announcer Troy Green and color commentator Bryan Newman will bring the action to you starting at 5 p.m. Fans can also follow along using live stats via UMBCRetrievers.com.

RETRIEVER UPDATE: Junior Matea Pender tied her season-high with 25 points against American as the Retrievers reached five wins the fastest in school history with a 67-49 victory over the Eagles. Pender was named America East Co-Player of the Week for the second time this season and ranks second in the nation in three-point field goal percentage(63.9 percent) and in three-point field goals made per game (3.3 per game). Heather Luttrell added 12 points, all in the second half and Morgan Hatten came off the bench to score nine points in the second half to spark the Retrievers on a 31-13 run the final 10-minutes of the game, breaking the 36-36 tie at that point. UMBC is at 5-2 on the season and leads the conference in five team categories, including field goal percentage and three-point field goals made per game.

DREXEL UPDATE: Drexel enters UMBC with a 3-2 record and has won two straight against Cornell and Howard. Last Week Katrina Martin was tabbed Player of the Week by the Colonial Athletic Conference. Martin leads the Dragons on the season at 17.6 ppg and 6.0 rpg.

Who's Up Next: The Retrievers final tune-up before the conference season begins will take place at rival Towson on Tuesday, Dec. 28 at 7:00 p.m.

All-time Series vs. Drexel

Last Meeting: Dec. 12, 1999 (UMBC 80, Drexel 79) 

First Meeting: Nov. 26, 1988 (Drexel 78, UMBC 66) 

Drexel's last win: Jan. 31, 1991 (Drexel 86, UMBC 80)

Streak: UMBC has won three in a row

Series Record: The series is tied 3-3

QUICK HITS:

* 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.

* UMBC has five wins on the season, eclipsing last year's season total of four wins.

* The Retrievers ended the game against American on a 31-13 run over the final 10:20, going 6-of-9 from the field and 15-of-18 from the free throw line. UMBC did not reach the charity stripe in the first half yet went to the line 21 times in the second half, shooting 81.0 percent on 17-of-21.

* UMBC is showing up in the NCAA Charts both individually and as a team. Matea Pender ranks second in three-point field goal percentage at 63.9 percent and second in three-point field goals per game at 3.3. UMBC as a team ranks in the top-25 in four categories: ranking fourth in three-point field goals per game at 8.4, 12th in assists per game at 18.9, 18th in three-point field goal percentage at 40.4 percent and 24th in scoring defense with 53.3 ppg allowed this year.

* When UMBC hits at least seven three-point field goals in a game they are 5-0 this season.

* UMBC is 4-0 this season when scoring the first points of the game.

* Matea Pender tied her season-high with 25 points against American. Pender has four 20-point performances on the year as UMBC is 4-0 when Pender scores at least 20.

* Pender has six consecutive double-digit performances and is 11-of-14 from three-point range over the last two games. In each of the last two games Pender has tallied four second-half treys.

* In games won this year Pender is averaging 20.6 ppg, shooting 58.5 percent (38-of-65) from the floor and 66.7 percent (20-of-30) from three point range.

* Over the last two games, Pender is averaging 23.5 ppg, shooting 63.0 percent from the floor at 17-of-27 and 78.6 percent from three-point range on 11-of-14. Pender has six assists, five steals and two blocks over that span of games as well.

* Over the past two games UMBC is shooting over .500 percent as a team going 50-of-96 from the floor, 52.1 percent, and 21-of-36 from three-point range, 58.3 percent. UMBC has held opponents to 16.7 percent from three point range, 4-of-24, in the last two games.

* UMBC is proving defense wins games. The Retrievers rank first in the America East in scoring defense, allowing 53.3 ppg, first in scoring margin at + 10.1, fourth in field goal percentage defense holding opponents to 38.6 percent shooting from the floor and second three-point field goal defense at 23.5 percent. UMBC also ranks second in turnover margin, + 2.71, second in steals, 9.14 spg and fourth in block shots at 2.71bpg.

NEWS AND NOTES:

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.

Men and Women's Double Header At Home The First Since NEC Era...Saturday's double-header with the UMBC men's basketball team is the first double-header the Retrievers have had since leaving the Northeast Conference. UMBC's last double header was against Quinnipiac on March 1, 2003. The UMBC women won that game 58-47.

Retrievers In Top-10 in Latest NCAA Statistics Release...UMBC ranked as a team in the top-10 in the NCAA statistic charts in three-point field goals per game. The NCAA updated national statistics are thru games as of Dec. 13, 2004. The Retrievers ranked fourth in three-point field goals per game as a team with an 8.4 average. Individually thru games of Dec. 13, Matea Pender ranked second in three-point field goals per game (3.3), second in three-point field percentage (63.9 percent), 30th in field goal percentage (58.2 percent) and 46th in points per game at 18.1 ppg. Brittnie Hughes ranked 44th in assists per game with 5.0 and Kristin Drabyn ranked 31st free throw percentage at 90.0 percent on 18-of-20 this season.

Starting Strong/Finishing Strong...UMBC is 4-0 this season when scoring the opening basket of the game and 5-1 when leading with five minutes remaining in the game, showing the ability to start strong and finish strong. In UMBC's five 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 American scored 48-second half points, including a 31-13 run over the final 10 minutes to break a 36-36 tie and seal the 67-49 win.

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. The top-four teams in the conference standings, Hartford (5-2), UMBC (5-2), Albany (4-3) and Boston U. are also the best defensive squads in the league. The Retrievers boast America East's most stingy defense, allowing their opponents to score just 53.3 ppg, while the Hawks (53.4 ppg), the Great Danes (59.4 ppg) and Terriers (60.3) are second thru fourth respectively. UMBC also ranks fourth in defensive field goal percentage holding team's to 38.6 percent. UMBC averages 9.14 spg and has double-digit in steals as a team in four games compared to just once all of last year.

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 and rank fourth in the nation. The Retrievers have dropped 59 treys in seven games, an 8.43 per game average which is tops in the AE charts by almost 2.0 treys per game. 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 23 treys, a 3.3 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 by tying her season-high of 25-points. Pender in UMBC's last two games is 11-of-14 from behind the arc and averaging 23.5 ppg.

Retrievers Go With Pender…UMBC is following the lead of junior Matea Pender as the Retrievers are 5-1 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 four 20-point 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 5-0 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 35 assists on the season and Sharri Rohde with 26. UMBC's school record for team assists in a game is 27. The Retrievers average 18.86 assist per game, ranking first in the America East team statistics charts and 12th in the nation. UMBC ranks second in assist/turnover ratio at 1.13.

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.).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).