UMBC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL, TOWSON MEET FOR 40TH TIME ON TUESDAY NIGHT

Baltimore, Md. – The UMBC Women's Basketball team (5-3) concludes their non-conference schedule with cross-town rival Towson University (6-4) in the 40th meeting between the Retrievers and Tigers. The game also marks UMBC's final tune-up before beginning America East Conference play at Stony Brook next week. The UMBCRetrievers.com Radio show goes on the road with UMBC as well with play-by-play man Troy Green broadcasting the action live through www.umbcretrievers.com starting at 7 p.m. Fans can also follow the action by clicking on the live stats link to Towson's website.

RETRIEVER UPDATE: After shooting 52.1 percent from the floor and 58.3 percent from three-point range the previous two games, the Retriever's offense sputtered against Drexel, shooting 36.8 percent from the field and 15.8 percent on three-point attempts as UMBC fell to the Dragons 67-53. The Retrievers received nine points from Brittnie Hughes and Morgan Hatten each while Anastasia Goncharova chipped in eight points and seven from freshman Amanda Robinson. Despite the setback the Retrievers still rank amongst the top shooting teams in the conference, ranking second in field goal percentage at 44.7 percent and third in three-point field goal percentage at 37.6 percent.  

TOWSON UPDATE: The Tigers are out to a 6-4 start and are coming off a 1-2 showing at the San Juan Shootout where they placed fourth out of eight teams. The Tigers are led by Keli Talbot at 12.5 ppg and 6.1 rpg while teammates Kelly Robinson and Alis Freeman are also averaging double-digit scoring at 10.5 ppg each.

Who's Up Next: The Retrievers dive into America East Conference play as they hit the road for two games to start the conference season next week. UMBC begins at Stony Brook on Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. 

All-time Series vs. Towson: Meeting No. 40

Last Meeting: Dec. 9, 2003 (Towson 54, UMBC 42) 

First Meeting: Mar. 4, 1969 (Towson 37, UMBC 36)

UMBC's last win: Nov. 23, 2002 (UMBC 55, Towson 42)

Streak: Towson has won one in a row

Series Record: Towson leads the series 28-11

QUICK HITS:

* UMBC has secured their first winning season in non-conference play since joining the East Coast Conference in 1990, four seasons after going Division-I. That year UMBC went 8-8 in non-conference action their best non-conference record until this year. UMBC will be going for a sixth win in their final non-conference game against Towson, marking the most non-league wins in a season since their eight wins in 1990-91. UMBC has recorded five wins just once since than, the 2002-03 season where the Retrievers reached the Northeast Conference title game.

* UMBC's meeting with Towson in the 40th time the two programs have met as the Tigers hold the advantage at 28-11. UMBC, however, has recorded nine of their 11 wins since becoming Division-I has Towson holds just a 13-9 advantage during UMBC's D-I era. Both teams are former foes of the Big South Conference and East Coast Conference and Towson was a member of the America East Conference from 1995-2001 prior to UMBC's inception in 2003. Last year Towson defeated UMBC 54-42, breaking a five-game win streak by the Retrievers.

* 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 is showing up in the NCAA Charts both individually and as a team. Matea Pender ranks second in three-point field goal percentage at 62.2 percent and 12th in three-point field goals per game at 2.9. UMBC as a team ranks in the top-15 in two categories: ranking seventh in three-point field goals per game at 7.8 and 11th in assists per game at 18.4.

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

* UMBC is proving defense wins games. The Retrievers rank second in the America East in scoring defense, allowing 55.0 ppg, third in scoring margin at + 7.1, fourth in field goal percentage defense holding opponents to 39.4 percent shooting from the floor and second three-point field goal defense at 23.2 percent. UMBC also ranks second in turnover margin, + 2.88, third in steals, 9.00 spg and fourth in block shots at 3.12 bpg.

* The Retrievers shot 52.1 percent from the field and 58.3 percent from three-point range their previous two games before going 21-of-57 (36.8 percent) and 3-of-19 (15.8 percent) from three-point range in their loss against Drexel.

* Matea Pender's streak of six-consecutive double-digit performances was broken in the game as she finished 0-for-5 from the field with no points in the game. UMBC is 5-1 when Pender hits double-digits in scoring.

* The Retrievers entered the game allowing only three 30-point halves by their opponents out of 14 halves of basketball this season before Drexel dropped 33 first half points and 34 second half points.

* UMBC for the first time this season failed to get a player in double-digits. High scorers for the Retrievers were Brittnie Hughes and Morgan Hatten with nine points each.

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.

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. 20, 2004. The Retrievers ranked seventh in three-point field goals per game as a team with a 7.8 average. Individually thru games of Dec. 20, Matea Pender ranked second in three-point field percentage (62.2 percent), 12th in three-point field goals per game (2.9) and 46th in field goal percentage (54.8 percent).

Starting Strong/Finishing Strong...UMBC is 4-1 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 of their three 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 (6-2), UMBC (5-3), Albany (4-3) and Boston U. (4-3) are also the best defensive squads in the league. The Hawks boast America East's most stingy defense, allowing their opponents to score just 52.5 ppg, while the Retrievers (55.0 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 39.4 percent. UMBC averages 9.00 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 seventh in the nation. The Retrievers have dropped 62 treys in eight games, a 7.75 per game average which is tops in the AE charts. 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 2.9 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.

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 18.4 assist per game, ranking first in the America East team statistics charts and 11th in the nation. UMBC ranks first in assist/turnover ratio in the AE charts at 1.12.

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 44.7 percent on the season, second 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).