Women’s Basketball Falls to Defending America East Champion Hartford, 58-45

, Conn.-After leading for most of the first half, the UMBC women's basketball team (9-9, 2-3 America East) saw its shooting go cold in the second half and dropped a 58-45 decision to defending America East champion Hartford (10-7, 3-1 America East) Wednesday evening at Chase Arena.

The teams alternated field goals for the first four minutes of the game, and Hartford had a 10-9 lead at the 15:53 mark before the Retrievers went on a 12-0 run to take a game-high 11-point lead, 21-10, with 12:36 remaining. Junior guard Morgan Hatten started the scoring streak with a three-pointer, and after three missed attempts by the Hawks, senior point guard Brittnie Hughes drilled a triple of her own. Hughes stole the ball from Hartford's Lisa Etienne and made the fastbreak layup, then junior forward Amanda Robinson made a layup after another missed Hartford attempt, and senior forward Heather Luttrell recorded another steal and drove down the court for another fastbreak layup.

The Hawks chipped away at the lead, scoring the final eight points of the half. A Mary Lynne Schaefer triple and another by Courtney Gomez tied the game at 28-28 with 2:03 remaining, and Danielle Matulis connected on a field goal with 45 seconds left to give Hartford a 30-28 halftime lead.

Hughes led the Retrievers with eight points in the first half, while Schaefer and Danielle Hood scored nine apiece for Hartford.

Robinson tied the game with a jumper just 17 seconds into the second period, and the teams traded field goals until UMBC tied it, 37-37, on a jumper by senior forward Sharri Rohde at the 15:18 mark.

But the Hawks ended the game on a 21-8 run, holding the Retrievers to just one field goal over the last 15 minutes and only six in the half as UMBC shot 22.2 percent from the floor in the period to Hartford's 40 percent.

Hughes and Rohde led UMBC with 10 points apiece, and Rohde added nine rebounds, leaving her one shy of a double-double.

Hood scored a game-high 19 points on 8-for-15 shooting, while Schaefer added 15 on five three-pointers. Katie Kelley posted a team-high 16 rebounds, leading Hartford to a 42-27 rebounding advantage.

The Hawks shot 42.0 percent for the game, while UMBC shot 32.7 percent from the field.

The Retrievers take on New Hampshire on Saturday, Jan. 20, in Durham, N.H.

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