Baltimore, Md. - The UMBC Women's Basketball team (5-2) shot 63.2 percent (12-of-19) and 87.5 percent (7-of-8) in the second half as the Retrievers reached five wins the fastest in the program's Division-I history with a 67-49 win over American University (5-3) on Saturday night at UMBC RAC Arena. Matea Pender tallied her sixth-consecutive double-digit performance and fourth 20-point performance with a game-high 25 points. The Retrievers, with the scored tied 36-36, took over in the final 10-minutes of the game with a 31-13 run to clinch the win.
Pender went 10-of-15 from the field and 5-of-6 from three-point range to tie her season-high of 25 points in a game. Pender is 11-of-14 from behind the arc in the last two games, shooting 78.6 percent on three-pointers.
The Retrievers, who struggled in the first half shooting 29.6 percent from the floor and scored 19 first-half points, were led by Pender, who kept UMBC in the game with 12 of the Retrievers' 19 points. The Retrievers trailed 23-19 going into the break.
In the second half a cast of Retrievers took over, including Pender going 5-of-5 from the field and 4-of-4 from three-point land. Heather Luttrell went 3-of-3 from the field and knocked down all four free throws for 12 points in the second half while Morgan Hatten added a spark off the bench with nine points for UMBC.
The Retrievers broke a 36-36 tie with an 8-0 run starting at the 9:51 mark on converted free throws by Sharri Rohde and Heather Luttrell and baskets from Pender and Brittnie Hughes. UMBC continued to stretch their lead, going into double-digits with a trey by Pender at the 5:58 mark for a 10-point, 50-40, lead. Down the stretch UMBC's lead grew to 19-points at 1:06 left on the clock.
The Retrievers for the game shot 43.5 percent with a 20-of-46 performance from the floor and 58.8 percent on three-pointers, going 10-of-17 from outside the arc. UMBC tallied six blocks, nine steals and handed out 16 assists on 20 made field goals.
For American, Chanel Hunt had a big night with 20 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double while Joanna Barnes finished with 11 points.
The Retrievers return to action next Saturday with a double-header with the men's basketball team. The UMBC women's basketball team will take on Drexel at 5 p.m. in UMBC RAC Arena.
Game Notes: 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 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…the Retrievers had a tale of two halves, shooting 29.6 percent (8-of-27) in the first half and 63.2 percent (12-of-19) in the second half…Matea Pender scored 15 points, scoring 20-plus points for the fourth time this season and second in a row…Pender has six consecutive double-digit performances and is 11-of-14 from three-point range over the last two games…in the three games this week Pender is averaging 20.7 ppg and shooting 58.3 percent from the field…Pendr was 5-of-5 from the floor in the second half against American and tallied four second-half treys for the second straight game…Heather Luttrell scored 12 second half points and Morgan Hatten came off the bench to tally nine…UMBC's largest lead was 19-points with 1:06 remaining in the game.