MATEA PENDER TABBED AMERICA EAST WILSON CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR SECOND TIME THIS SEASON

, Mass. – The America East Conference announced today that UMBC Women's Basketball junior forward Matea Pender (Sibenik, Croatia/Croatian National Team) was named Wilson Co-Player of the Week for the week ending Dec. 12, 2004. This is Pender's second player of the week accolade this season earning the award in week two of the season as well. Pender shares the week's accolades with Binghamton's Rachel Laws.

Pender had a stellar week for the Retrievers (5-2, 0-0 America East), 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.

Pender has led UMBC off to a great start, as the Retrievers reached five wins the fastest in the program's Division-I era. Pender, entering the week, is leading America East in scoring (18.1 ppg), three-point field goal percentage (63.9 percent) and three-point field goals made (3.29 per game), while ranking third in field goal percentage (58.2 percent) as UMBC ranks a top the conference charts.

Pender, whose numbers have only gone up since last week, ranked 14th in three-point field goal percentage at 55.6 percent and 39th in field goal percentage at 58.1 percent in the NCAA Statistics thru games Dec. 6.

Pender and the Retrievers have two more non-conference games to gear up for the America East Conference season with UMBC hosting Drexel on Dec. 18 at 5 p.m. and traveling to cross-town rival Towson on Dec. 28 at 7 p.m.