The UMBC women's basketball team (11-14, 4-8 America East) welcomes America East foe New Hampshire (8-15, 3-8 America East) to the RAC Arena for a 4 p.m. tipoff on Saturday. The game can be heard on WVIE 1370 AM.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: The Retrievers have lost five of their last six games after dropping a heartbreaker at Binghamton on Wednesday, 68-65. Senior forward Sharri Rohde posted her fourth double-double of the season and UMBC's fifth of the year with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Rohde is the only player in the America East to rank in the top 11 in scoring, rebounding and assists. UMBC is also the only team in the conference with four players ranking among the league's top 20 scorers. The Retrievers rank 16th in the nation in turnovers. Rohde leads the team with 13.0 ppg and 6.5 rpg.
WILDCAT UPDATE: New Hampshire (8-15) has lost two straight and is coming off a 71-64 loss at Stony Brook on Wednesday. Danielle Clark recorded her third double-double of the seaosn with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Clark ranks fifth in the America East with 14.0 ppg and ninth with 5.8 rpg. Whitney Edwards leads the league with 2.70 steals per game and is second with 4.13 assists per outing. The Wildcats are eighth in the America East with a 3-8 conference record.
Who's Up Next: The Retrievers take to the road for two tough road games next week, traveling to Vermont on Feb. 20 and to Maine on Feb. 24. Both the Catamounts and Black Bears defeated UMBC at the RAC last month.
Inside the Series: Tonight's game marks the eighth all-time meeting between UMBC and New Hampshire, and the Wildcats hold a 4-3 series advantage. The first meeting occurred on Jan. 21, 2004, a 65-54 victory for visiting UNH. The Retrievers took the next game, 48-47, on Feb. 19, 2004, at Lundholm Gymnasium, but the Wildcats won the next three. However, UMBC has won the last two contests. As conference rivals, the teams have met twice a year since UMBC joined the league in 2004, and the Wildcats are 2-1 at RAC Arena.
In the last meeting, Jan. 20, 2007, the Retrievers defeated the Wildcats, 59-56, at Lundholm Gymnasium. Freshman guard Carlee Cassidy tied her career high with 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting, including 4-for-8 from three-point range. The Wildcats' Danielle Clark scored 27 points on 9-of-18 shooting, including 6-for-12 from long distance. The Retrievers jumped out to a big lead early and held on down the stretch as New Hampshire mounted a comeback.
For Starters: UMBC's 4-8 record after 12 America East games is its second-best mark since joining the league in 2003-04. The Retrievers held a 6-6 record after 12 conference games last season. After 25 games last season, UMBC was 15-10.
Balanced Rohde: Senior forward Sharri Rohde is the only player in the America East to rank in the conference's top 11 in scoring (8th), rebounding (T-4th) and assists (11th). With one assist at Stony Brook on Feb. 7, she became just the third Retriever ever to amass 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists in her career.
UMBC's Iron Woman: Senior forward Sharri Rohde has started all 109 games in her career, and when she was in the opening lineup on Feb. 7 at Stony Brook, she became UMBC's all-time Iron Woman, breaking the school record for career starts.
Seeing Double: Three Retrievers - senior forward Sharri Rohde (13.0), senior point guard Brittnie Hughes (11.2) and junior forward Amanda Robinson (10.1) - are averaging double figures in scoring. Rohde has reached double digits in 19 of 25 games this season, including the last two. UMBC is the only team in the America East with four players ranking in the league's top 20 in scoring.
Join the Club: Senior forward Sharri Rohde is just the 10th Retriever ever to reach both the 1,000-point and 500-rebound plateau. She currently ranks eighth all-time with 1,109 points and 12th with 581 rebounds. She is the 15th player in UMBC history to score 1,000 points in her career and the 13th Retriever to post 500 boards.
America East Opener: The Retrievers' 66-58 victory over Boston University in its America East opener marked the first time UMBC has won its America East opener since joining the league in 2003-04 and also marked the Retrievers' first victory in their first conference game of the season since 1997-98 when members of the Big South.
Coaching Milestones: UMBC head coach Phil Stern needs just four more wins to reach the 150-victory milestone for his career.
Lending a Helping Hand: Senior point guard Brittnie Hughes and senior forward Sharri Rohde are UMBC's active career leaders in assists with 320 and 305, respectively. Hughes ranks sixth all-time, while Rohde ranks eighth. Rohde entered the season with 22 more dishes in her career than Hughes, but the point guard has posted 101 helpers this season, with a career-best 12 on Dec. 29 against Texas State to gain the lead. Hughes became the seventh Retriever ever with 300 career assists with three at Hartford on Jan. 17, and Rohde became the eighth with one dish at Stony Brook on Feb. 7. Both players rank in the top 15 in the America East in the category, with Hughes third (4.04 apg) and Rohde 11th (2.56 apg).
Three's Company: The Retrievers have made at least one three-pointer in 63 straight games dating to Feb. 5, 2005 at Stony Brook. Junior guard Kristin Drabyn ranks second in the America East with 2.00 three-pointers made per game. Drabyn drilled nine of 18 triples in two games at the Battle at the Border Tournament, including a career-high six against Texas State on Dec. 29. It was the most three-pointers made by a Retriever since Ana Goncharova connected on nine on Jan. 29, 2005 against Stony Brook. Seven different Retrievers made a three-pointer on Jan. 24 against Maine, and as a team, UMBC ranks second in the America East and 42nd in the NCAA in three-pointers made per game (5.92). Senior point guard Brittnie Hughes is shooting 37.9 percent from long distance, sixth-best in the conference.
Block Party: Junior forward Amanda Robinson ranks fourth in the conference with 1.36 blocks per game. After not recording a rejection in three straight games, she tied a career high and a school record with six blocked shots at Boston University on Feb. 4. Senior forward Sharri Rohde ranks eighth in the league with 0.80 bpg. Robinson and Rohde are tied for fifth all-time at UMBC with 83 career blocks. Robinson's 34 blocks this season rank fourth all-time among UMBC juniors.
Master Thieves: Senior forward Sharri Rohde and senior point guard Brittnie Hughes are UMBC's active leaders in steals. Both rank among the America East's leaders in the category, with Hughes third (2.12 spg) and Rohde seventh (1.72 spg). Rohde has averaged 2.17 steals in 12 conference games this season, third-best in the league. The pair are tied for 12th all-time at UMBC with 145 takeaways. As a team, the Retrievers are averaging 9.00 steals per game, third-best in the conference, but rank first in the league in America East games with a 9.83 average.
Protecting the Ball: UMBC ranks 16th in the nation with just 14.4 turnovers per game and the Retrievers are forcing an average of 4.40 more turnovers per game than they are committing, the second-best margin in the conference. They lead the league in America East games with a turnover margin of +6.00 tpg.
Drabyn for Three: In her third season at UMBC, junior shooting guard Kristin Drabyn is moving up a number of UMBC charts involving three-pointers. Drabyn currently ranks third all-time with a .341 career shooting percentage from long distance and ranks sixth with 76 career three-point field goals. In addition, Drabyn's 50 triples and 154 attempts this season rank third and second, respectively among all-time Retriever juniors.
America East Recognizes Retrievers: Two Retrievers have earned America East Player of the Week recognition this season. Senior forward Sharri Rohde earned the honor for the third time in her career on Dec. 3 after averaging a double-double the previous week, while junior guard Kristin Drabyn won the award for the first time on Jan. 2 after averaging 19.0 ppg and shooting 56.5 percent (13-for-23) from the field, including 50 percent (9-for-18) from long distance at the Battle at the Border Tournament.
On the Glass: Senior forward Sharri Rohde ranks fourth in the America East Conference with 6.5 rebounds per game, 1.5 more rebounds per contest than her career average entering the season. Junior forward Amanda Robinson also ranks 16th in the league with 5.2 rpg, and junior guard Morgan Hatten is averaging 4.6 rpg, ranking 19th. However, the Retrievers have been out-rebounded by 8.8 boards per game this season, the worst margin in the conference, and have only won the rebounding battle three times.
(Un)Lucky Seven: The Retrievers have found themselves down 7-0 in six of 11 America East Conference games this season. Three times the opponent scored another field goal before UMBC got on the board. The Retrievers are 2-4 in those games.
Double-Double: The Retrievers posted three double-doubles in two games to start the month of December. Senior forward Sharri Rohde recorded the third and fourth of her career with 17 points and 10 rebounds at American on Nov. 28, and 23 points and 10 boards at Fairleigh Dickinson on Dec. 2. Junior forward Amanda Robinson also posted a double-double against the Knights, scoring a career-high 22 points and grabbing a career-best 12 rebounds. Prior to that week, no UMBC player had recorded a double-double since March 4, 2006, when Robinson scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds at Albany. Rohde posted her third double-double of the season on Dec. 28 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi with 17 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. She then recorded UMBC's fifth double-double of the season but first in a month and a half with 19 points and 12 rebounds at Binghamton on Feb. 14.
Hoosier State Trio: Three Retrievers hail from Indiana, and all three are finding regular playing time. Senior forward Sharri Rohde leads the team with 13.0 ppg and 6.5 rpg and has started 109 games in a row. Junior guard Kristin Drabyn has started every game this season and is averaging 9.6 ppg, while senior Heather Luttrell has started five games and is averaging 20.0 minutes in 25 contests.
New Kid on the Block: Freshman guard Carlee Cassidy has scored 62 of her 108 points (57.4 percent) this season in four games. She scored a career-high 17 against Coppin State, then scored 16 three games later against NJIT on Nov. 26. She did not reach double figures again until tying her career best with 17 at New Hampshire on Jan. 20. She also added 12 at Binghamton on Feb. 14.
20/20: There have been nine 20-point performances by Retrievers this year, three by senior forward Sharri Rohde, who reached the 20-point plateau in two consecutive games in December. Senior point guard Brittnie Hughes has also done it three times, including Sunday at Boston University, when she posted UMBC's first 20-point performance since the Terriers visited the RAC Arena a month earlier. Junior forward Amanda Robinson has done it twice, while junior guard Kristin Drabyn has also accomplished the feat. Rohde and Hughes have each scored a team-high 23 this season
UMBC Picked Sixth in Preseason Poll: The Retrievers were selected to finish sixth in the America East in a vote of the conference's head coaches, the program's highest preseason billing since joining the America East in 2003. In a crowded middle-third of the conference, UMBC is just four points out of fourth place. With just two weeks left in the regular season, the conference standings are shaping up. Preseason favorite Hartford and runner-up Stony Brook have pulled ahead, while Vermont, Maine, Binghamton and Boston University are within a game and a half of each other in the middle of the standings.
Retrievers Ink Three in Early Signing Period: Three high school seniors have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Retrievers in the fall of 2007. Michele Brokans is a 5-foot-8 point guard out of Lansdale Catholic in Lansdale, Pa. She has helped her AAU team, FENCOR, to three AAU national championships and five straight appearances in the national championship game. Meghan Colabella is a 6-foot forward out of Montclair High school in Montclair, N.J., where she was first-team all-league and second-team all-county. Chrissy Robinson, the younger sister of UMBC junior forward Amanda Robinson, is a 6-foot-3 post player out of Patuxent High School in Lusby, Md., where she averaged a double-double as a junior.