UMBC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TAKES ON AMERICAN AT HOME SATURDAY NIGHT

Baltimore, Md. – The UMBC Women's Basketball team (4-2) takes on American University (5-2) on Saturday night at UMBC RAC Arena. The Retrievers game will air live on UMBCRetrievers.com Radio as play-by-play announcer Troy Green and color commentator Kenya Merrit will bring the action to you starting at 7 p.m. Fans can also follow along using live stats via UMBCRetrievers.com.

RETRIEVER UPDATE: Junior Matea Pender scored 22 points as the UMBC women's basketball team (4-2) matched its win total from a year ago with a convincing 73-57 win over host Lafayette (2-4). Pender hit 7-of-12 shots from the floor and 6-of-8 from behind the arc. The Retrievers blazed the nets at a 60% clip, hitting 30-of-50 shots, including 11-of-19 (57.9%) from behind the arc. UMBC had 23 assists on their 30 field goals, setting season highs in field goal percentage, three-point percentage, and assists. Rohde posted 12 points for the Retrievers, and Pender garnered a team high six rebounds. Heather Luttrell and Brittnie Hughes added nine points each, while center Erin Voss led UMBC with six assists. The Retrievers are 2-0 (Navy, Lafayette) this season against the Patriot League with American their third Patriot League opponent this season.

AMERICAN UPDATE: The Eagles are looking to go 6-2 for the third time in the last six seasons as they have won five of their last six games. Leading the Eagles is Joanna Barnes at 14.9 ppg and Chanel Hunt at 11.4 ppg. Last year the Eagles fell in the Patriot League title game to Colgate.

Who's Up Next: The Retrievers have a full week to get ready for Drexel on Saturday, Dec 18, at 5:00 in a double-header with the UMBC Men's Basketball Team.

All-time Series vs. American

Last Meeting: Dec. 18, 2003 (American 57, UMBC 41)

First Meeting: Jan. 26, 1990 (American 83, UMBC 71)

UMBC's last win: Jan. 4, 2003 (UMBC 56, American 47)

Streak: American has one in a row

Series Record: American leads the series 6-3

QUICK HITS:

* UMBC's win over Lafayette was their fourth win of the season, matching last year's season total.

* UMBC against Lafayette recorded a team season-high 60.0 percent shooting from the field and tied their season-high mark of 30 field goals made and 11 three-point baskets made set earlier this year at Morgan State.

* UMBC also recorded a season-high 23 assists out of their 30 field goals made vs. Lafayette.

* Erin Voss and Heather Luttrell each recorded career-highs in assists with six and five respectively.

* The Retrievers fluttered with setting new career-highs in shooting percentage as a team with 12:28 remaining on the clock UMBC was 25-of-36 for 69.4 percent and with 7:33 was 27-of-40 for 67.4 percent from the field. The Retrievers' single-game record for shooting percentage is 67.4 percent (31-of-46) set last year at Northeastern.

* For the first time since UMBC was in the Northeast Conference Championships game Coach Stern did not start a freshman. Matea Pender, Heather Luttrell, Sharri Rohde, Brittnie Hughes and Erin Voss (two juniors, three sophomores) received the starting nod against Lafayette. UMBC had started at least one freshman in 33 consecutive games.

* UMBC is 4-0 this year when making at least six three-point baskets in a game. The Retrievers recorded six in the first half and 11 for the game against Lafayette.

* Matea Pender had six treys on her own, going 6-for-8 from behind the arc with four in the second half as she scored 22 points. Her six made three-point baskets is a career-high.

* Pender has five consecutive double-digit performances and has three 20-plus point performances this season (UMBC one all of last year).

* Sharri Rohde, 12 points, continued to up her scoring as of late, hitting her first three-point basket of the year and went 2-for-3 from outside the arc. Rohde is averaging 9.0 ppg and shooting 61.5 percent from the field over the last two games.

* UMBC has not trailed after the first stanza in any game to date this season, leading in five of those games and being tied with Navy (27-27) at the break.

NEWS AND NOTES:

UMBC's On Verge Of Reaching Five Wins the Fastest in D-I Era…The Retrievers have a chance to reach five wins the fastest in the Retrievers' program Division-I history. UMBC has four wins in their first six games this season. The fastest UMBC has hit five wins was in their 10th game of the 1994-95 and 1990-91 seasons. UMBC's all-time fastest time was five wins in the firs six games during 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 four 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. The top-three teams in the conference standings, Hartford (4-1), Albany (4-2) and UMBC (4-2) are also the best defensive squads in the league. The Hawks boast America East's most stingy defense, allowing their opponents to score just 49.6 ppg, while the Retrievers (54.0 ppg) and the Great Danes (55.5 ppg) are second and third respectively. UMBC also ranks fourth in defensive field goal percentage holding team's to 38.0 percent. UMBC averages 9.17 spg and has double-digit in steals as a team in four 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 49 treys in six games, an 8.17 per game average which is tops in the AE charts by over 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 18 treys, a 3.0 per game 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 4-1 in games Pender has scored double-digits. In UMBC wins, Pender is averaging 19.5 ppg, is shooting 56.0 percent (28-of-50) from the field and 62.5 percent (15-of-24) from three-point range. Pender already has three 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.

Retrievers Showing Unselfish Play…UMBC as a team recorded 20 assists or more in four of five 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 33 assists on the season and Sharri Rohde with 22. UMBC's school record for team assists in a game is 27. The Retrievers average 19.33 assist per game, which ranks in first place in the America East team statistics charts. UMBC ranks second in assist/turnover ratio at 1.09.

Getting Ahead Early...UMBC has led or been tied at half in all six games this season, 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.

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.

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.

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).