Women’s Basketball Falls at Maine, 79-72

Orono, Maine-The UMBC women's basketball team (13-15, 6-9 America East) dropped its final road game of the season, 79-72, to America East rival Maine (13-12, 7-7 America East) Saturday afternoon at Alfond Arena. On Senior Day, the Black Bears' four seniors scored 64 of Maine's 79 points.

The Black Bears scored the first eight points of the game and jumped out to a 15-2 lead at the 12:44 mark. The Retrievers missed their first five shots and could not sustain a rally in the first half and never got closer than 11 points. Maine held a 36-22 advantage at halftime.

Maine senior Bracey Barker led all scorers with 14 points in the first period, while classmate Ashley Underwood had eight. Senior forward Sharri Rohde led the Retrievers with seven points at the break.

UMBC shot 38.5 percent in the opening stanza and were 0-for-6 from three-point range. The Black Bears shot at a 50 percent clip in the first half, including 41.7 percent (5-for-12) from long distance.

A three-pointer by junior guard Morgan Hatten sparked a 15-5 Retriever run late in the second half cut the deficit to six points, 64-58, with three minutes to play, before Maine's Abby Greene drilled a triple at the 2:49 mark.

Junior guard Kristin Drabyn answered with a three-pointer of her own 30 seconds later, but four straight points by the Black Bears made it a 10-point game with 55 seconds left.

Freshman guard Carlee Cassidy drilled two treys in the next 20 seconds, and Drabyn added another to pull to within five points, 77-72, with 10 seconds remaining, the closest the game had been since it was 5-0.

But the Black Bears made 10 straight free throws in the final minute, thwarting UMBC's comeback attempt and sealing the 79-72 victory.

Rohde led the Retrievers with 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists, while Drabyn scored 14 points and senior point guard Brittnie Hughes added 10 points and six dishes.

Barker and Underwood led the Black Bears with 24 and 23 points, respectively, while Lindsey Hugstad-Vaa added 11. Underwood also pulled down seven rebounds and dished out six helpers.

The Retrievers shot 48.5 percent in the second half and 44.1 percent in the game. UMBC made six three-pointers in the second period, as well. Maine shot 45.8 percent in the game, including 40.9 percent in the second half, and was 9-for-20 from long distance.

Both teams were outstanding from the free throw line, as UMBC made 14 of 16 (87.5 percent) and Maine made 26 of 29 (89.7 percent). The Retrievers have hit 31 of their last 34 foul shots (91.2 percent) spanning two games.

The Black Bears held a slight edge in rebounds, 32-31.

UMBC has a week off before returning to action on Saturday, March 3, hosting Hartford at 7 p.m. at the RAC Arena. The game is the final regular season contest of the season, and the Retrievers will honor seniors Rohde, Hughes and Heather Luttrell prior to the game in a Senior Day ceremony.

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