RETRIEVER WOMEN’S BASKETBALL AIMS TO SHAKE THINGS UP IN AMERICA EAST CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT

Baltimore, Md. – The UMBC Women's Basketball team (8-19, 3-15 America East) travels to the America East Tournament in West Hartford, Conn., for a clash with No.7 seeded Northeastern (13-14, 8-10 AE) in the opening round on Wednesday, March 9 at 8:30 p.m. The Retrievers will look to avenge getting bounced from the tournament in the opening round last year by the Huskies and both single-digit losses to Northeastern this season.

RETRIEVER UPDATE: The Retrievers finished the regular season with an 8-19 record and 3-15 conference finish. While the Retrievers double their win total from last year with eight heading into the conference tournament, they dropped a game in their conference record despite displaying a much stronger team than a year ago. The Retrievers during the second half of the conference season went 1-8, losing six of those contests by under 10-points. The Retrievers are led by Matea Pender, who has posted seven 20-plus point performances on the season and is averaging 13.7 ppg. Pender has been atop the nation in three-point field goal percentage all year coming out of her last game with a 48.4 percentage from outside the arc. Over the last two games UMBC has seen the emergence of freshman Amanda Robinson. The 6-2 center scored a career-high 20 points at New Hampshire and 19 in their latest outing against Maine en route to earning Co-America East Rookie of the Week. Brittnie Hughes runs the Retrievers offense averaging 3.52 assists per game while Sharri Rohde is a stagnant in the Retriever lineup with seven 40-minute games on the year.

HUSKY UPDATE: The Huskies roll into the conference tournament with a two-game win streak and wins in four of their last five games. Behind 27 points from Marlene Zwarich, the Huskies secured the No. 7 seed with a 78-75 win over Stony Brook. Zwarich leads the team averaging 18.2 ppg while freshman Shayleye Smallwood is tallying 13.5 ppg.

Who's Up Next: A win in the opening round will pit the Retrievers against host school and No. 2 seeded Hartford in the second round on Thursday, March 9 at 6:00 p.m.

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

Last Meeting: Jan. 26, 2005 (Maine 62, UMBC 46)

First Meeting: Jan. 24, 2004 (Maine 60, UMBC 45)

UMBC's last win: NA

Streak: Maine has won three in a row

Series Record: Maine leads the series 3-0

QUICK HITS:

Against Northeastern

* UMBC and Northeastern will meet for the sixth time in the last two years with the Huskies winning four of the five contests already played. UMBC's lone win came on their home court last season with a 61-51 victory. In the two games this year Northeastern has beat UMBC by a combined 4.5 ppg.

Match-up Notes

* The match-up of Northeastern and UMBC displays to power shooting forwards in Marlene Zwarich and UMBC's Matea Pender. Zwarich is averaging 18.2 ppg compared to Pender's 13.7 ppg. In contests against one another this year Pender and Zwarich are each averaging 19.0 ppg.

Last Meeting

* UMBC led, 27-24 at intermission after hitting 10-of-20 field goal attempts in the first 20 minutes. A layup from Morgan Hatten put the Retrievers up again by one, 36-35, but NU's Shaleyse Smallwood finally put the Huskies back on top for good with a layup at the 9:35 mark. UMBC threatened late in the game as it pulled to two on a layup from Erin Voss with 1:01 remaining in the game. A pair of free throws from Jody Burrows, followed by a steal and layup from Lucia Pablos, stretched the NU advantage to six, 56-50, but Matea Pender drained a trey with 24 seconds on the clock cut the Husky lead in half. Burrows and Maralene Zwarich made good on 1-of-2 shots from the free throw line to ice the game for the Huskies with eight seconds remaining.

Freshman Robinson Emerging Over Last Four

* Freshman Amanda Robinson has been emerging over the last five games as the 6'2" center has come off the bench to average 11.8 ppg, including a career-high 20 points against New Hampshire. Robinson against Albany tallied 13 points and eight rebounds in that contest and in the last outing tallied 19 points with eight rebounds. Over the last five Robinson is shooting 51.9 percent from the field.

Rohde Emerging As Defensive Specialist

* Sophomore Sharri Rohde, who normally garners the task of guarding the opponent's top player, has emerged as a defensive force. Rohde entering the week ranked in overall America East statistics in 7th place in steals at 1.67 spg and 5th in block shots at 1.04 bpg. In America East Conference games Rohde is 5th in steals at 1.67 spg and ranks 7th in blocks at 1.06 bpg. Rohde has recorded four blocks in a single game twice this season, the last coming against Vermont.

Pender Ranks Fourth In Nation Three-Point Field Goal Percentage Chart

* Matea Pender in the latest NCAA statistics which run thru games as of Feb. 28, 2005, dropped to fourth in three-point percentage. Pender led the nation in three-point field goal percentage for five straight weeks and enters this week shooting 48.4 percent from the field at 61-of-126.

40 Minute Nights

* In 14 of UMBC's 187 conference games at least one player has played 40 minutes. Sharri Rohde leads UMBC with seven 40-minute nights on the season while Brittnie Hughes have logged all the minutes on six occasions this season. Rohde has played all 40 minutes 11 times in her career.

Getting Ahead

* UMBC has had trouble after falling behind this year showing their need to get ahead early on. UMBC when trailing at halftime is 1-14 this year and are 0-13 when trailing with 10 minutes left in the game. The Retrievers are 7-3 when leading with five minutes left in the game and 6-4 when leading at halftime, showing the ability to sustain leads once ahead.

Pender's lead

* In UMBC's eight wins this season Matea Pender is averaging 19.0 ppg, shooting 52.9 percent from the field (55-of-99) and 65.9 percent from three-point range (29-of-44). In four of those eight games Pender has scored 20 or more points. In games lost Pender is averaging 11.4 ppg.

Retrievers In Conference Tournament

* UMBC has not one a conference tournament game since entering the America East Conference, losing their only contest to Northeastern last year by a final of 55-30. The last Retriever win in a conference tournament was their final year in the Northeast Conference, 2002-03, when the Retrievers won back-to-back games that pitted them in the conference finals.

Shooting Woes At U. Of Hartford

* In three games over the last two seasons at Hartford the Retrievers have not faired well on the offensive end, averaging 38.3 ppg ans shooting 40-of-126 from the floor. UMBC's best performance was their first trip last year, a 46 point showing shutting 43.2 percent.

NEWS AND NOTES:

Robinson Named Co-Rookie Of The Week by America East Conference...Freshman Amanda Robinson picked up her first career conference accolade after averaging 19.5 ppg as the AE Conference office tabbed her Co-Rookie of the week for the week ending March 6, 2005. Robinson scored at career-high against UNH with 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field and 2-of-2 at the free throw line. She went to grab five rebounds with a steal and assist in that game. Two nights later in an encore presentation, Robinson scored 19 points on 9-of-17 shooting and 1-of-2 at the free throw line, grabbing eight rebounds with four assists, three steals and two blocks. Over the two games she shot an impressive 56.3 percent from the field, making 18-of-32 shots and went 3-of-4 at the charity stripe.

Goncharova's Career-Day Against UNH

* Anastasia Goncharova recorded career numbers against New Hampshire, posting 33 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the three-point arc and 12-of-13 from the field. Goncharova finished last week shooting 78.9 percent from the field (15-of-19) and 73.3 percent from three-point range (11-of-15) for a 20.5 ppg average.

Goncharova's Day

-Nine three-point baskets ties conference mark for treys in a game.

-Nine three-point baskets is one off the UMBC record for three-pointers in a game. Jami Lange holds the UMBC record of 10 set on Feb. 22, 1999 against Long Island.

-Nine Three-point field goals in the most treys connected in the least amount of attempts (10).

-33 points scored is most by a UMBC women's basketball player off the bench.

-33 points scored is the sixth most points scored in a game in Retriever women's basketball program history.

Double-Double...Mate Pender tallied her fourth double-double of the year with 14 points and 11 rebounds against Vermont on Feb. 23. Pender's first double-double of the season came against Boston U., in the first meeting this season. That double-double marked UMBC's first double-double since Shalayna Johnson (1999-2003) scored 37 points and 10 rebounds against Quinnipiac on Mar. 1, 2003. Matea Pender recorded her second one of the season against Albany with 13 points and 11 rebounds two games following that performance. Pender in the second meeting with Boston U., recorded her third double-double of the season with 24 points and 12 rebounds.

Pender's Double-Doubles

Opponent Points Rebounds

Boston U. (1-12) 12 12

Albany (1-19) 13 11

Boston U. (2-10) 24 12

Vermont (2-23) 14 11

Pender and Goncharova join UMBC's 30-point game club...Matea Pender and Anastasia Goncharova each have had a career games for UMBC this year. Pender at Stony Brook, scored 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 12th on UMBC's all-time single-game points scored chart. Goncharova against New Hampshire topped Pender's performance with 33 points on 12-of-13 shooting from the field and 9-of-10 from three-point range. The last time a UMBC player prior to this season hit 30-points in a game was Shalayna Johnson on March 1, 2003 when she set the school record with 37 against Quinnipiac.

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 8-9 in games Pender has scored double-digits. In UMBC wins, Pender is averaging 19.0 ppg, shooting 52.9 percent from the field (55-of-99) and 65.9 percent from three-point range (29-of-44). Pender has seven 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 13 three-point baskets against New Hampshire was one trey 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 five occasions this season.

Retrievers Showing Unselfish Play…UMBC as a team recorded 20 assists or more in six 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. Brittnie Hughes (95 assists) and Sharri Rohde (91 assists) are the catalysts of the Retrievers offense. UMBC's school record for team assists in a game is 27. The Retrievers are averaging 15.0 assists per game, ranking first in the America East team statistics charts. 

Retrievers Open Conference Home Slate With Win...UMBC won their first home conference game for the first time in six years with their win over BU, 59-51. UMBC's last conference win in their home opener prior to Boston U. was a 62-54 victory over UNC Asheville in 1998, UMBC's last year in the Big South Conference.

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.).

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.

Drabyn Out For Season...Freshman Kristin Drabyn suffered a broken finger and has been sidelined the rest of the 2004-05 season.

Senior Tyecia Powell Out For Remainder Of Season...Senior Tyecia Powell suffered a season ending knee injury at Albany and will miss the remainder of her senior year. Powell, a 5-11 center, started all 19 conference games last year but was been limited in her action prior to her injury this season.

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).