UMBC hosts Mid-Day Madness at RAC Arena on Wednesday as the Retrievers take on Maine at 12 p.m. UMBC will welcome nearly 600 local elementary and middle school students. The Retrievers and Black Bears are currently tied for fourth in the America East standings at 3-3 in conference play.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: UMBC is coming off a 59-56 victory at America East foe New Hampshire on Saturday. The Retrievers jumped out to a 30-11 lead before the Wildcats mounted a comeback. Freshman guard Carlee Cassidy tied a career high with 17 points with a career-best four three-pointers. Senior forward Sharri Rohde had her 10-game double-figure scoring streak snapped, but still leads the team with 14.1 ppg and 6.9 rpg. UMBC is the only team in the America East with four players ranking in the conference's top 20 in scoring, with all four averaging double figures. The Retrievers also rank 20th in the nation in turnovers per game.
BLACK BEAR UPDATE: The Maine Black Bears are 9-8 on the season and 3-3 in the America East, tied with UMBC and Albany for fourth place in the conference standings. They are coming off a 78-73 victory over Boston University on Saturday. Ashley Underwood leads the team with 15.8 ppg in league play, scoring in double figures in all six conference contests. Bracey Barker leads the America East in field goal percentage and free throw percentage.
MIDDAY MADNESS: This afternoon's game is UMBC's second annual Mid-Day Madness, with more than 600 local elementary and middle school students expected. Last season, a UMBC record-crowd of 1,312 fans witnessed the Retrievers' 48-41 come-from-behind victory over Albany.
Inside the Series: Wednesday's game marks the seventh all-time meeting between UMBC and Maine, and the Black Bears hold a 5-1 series advantage. The first meeting occurred on Jan. 24, 2004, a 60-45 victory for visiting Maine. The Black Bears won the first five games in the series before UMBC took the last meeting, 60-47, on Feb. 22, 2006, at RAC Arena. The Black Bears are 2-1 all-time on UMBC's home court.
In the last meeting, Feb. 22, 2006, the Retrievers came away with a 60-47 victory at RAC Arena. It was a tale of two halves for UMBC, as the Retrievers scored a season-high 47 points during the second half on 62.5 percent shooting while struggling in the opening stanza, scoring a season-low 13 points on 20.0 percent shooting. Forward Sharri Rohde led UMBC with 15 points, while Maine's Ashley Underwood scored a game-best 22 points.
For Starters: At 3-3 in conference play, UMBC is off to its best league start since joining the America East in 2003-04.
Rohde Passes 1,000: With 10 points against Stony Brook, senior forward Sharri Rohde became the 15th player in UMBC history to score 1,000 points in her career. She currenly ranks 12th all-time with 1,050 points, just one behind Mickey Stoffel ('86) with 1,051. Rohde needs only 10 points to join UMBC's top 10.
Rohde's Start Streak: Senior forward Sharri Rohde started all 28 games last season for the third year in a row. With a start in each of the first 19 games this season, she has extended her start streak to 103 games and ranks fourth all-time at UMBC for career starts. Rohde is on pace to break UMBC's record for most career starts on Feb. 7 at Stony Brook.
Join the Club: Senior forward Sharri Rohde is just the 10th Retriever ever to reach both the 1,000-point and 500-rebound plateau, and she is the 13th player in UMBC history to amass 500 boards. She currently ranks 12th all-time with 550 career boards. Next on her list is Missy Quille ('94) with 656.
Seeing Double: Senior forward Sharri Rohde snapped her 10-game double-figure scoring streak - the second-longest streak in the conference - with nine points at New Hampshire, but she has reached the 10-point plateau in 16 out of 19 games overal. Junior guard Kristin Drabyn has reached double digits in 12 of her last 16 games and 13 times overall. Senior point guard Brittnie Hughes has also reached the 10-point plateau 12 times this season, including six of the last nine, while junior forward Amanda Robinson had her four-game double-figure scoring streak snapped last Wednesday night at Hartford.
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's victory over Binghamton on Jan. 13 was head coach Phil Stern's 50th at UMBC. In addition, Saturday's win at New Hampshire was the 145th of his career, leaving him just five shy of reaching the 150-victory milestone.
Lending a Helping Hand: The Retrievers rank third in the America East and 95th in the NCAA with 14.37 assists per game, and senior point guard Brittnie Hughes leads the league and ranks 54th in the nation with 4.79 apg. UMBC dished out a season-high 26 assists on Dec. 2 at Fairleigh Dickinson, just one shy of the school record of 27 set against Shippensburg on Dec. 2, 1985. Hughes (7) and senior forward Sharri Rohde (8) combined for 15 of the team's 26 assists in the game.
Helping Hand, Part II: Senior point guard Brittnie Hughes and senior forward Sharri Rohde are UMBC's active career leaders in assists with 310 and 293, respectively. Hughes is tied for sixth all-time, while Rohde ranks ninth. Rohde entered the season with 22 more dishes in her career than Hughes, but the point guard has averaged 4.79 helpers per game 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. Rohde needs just seven helpers to become just the third player in UMBC history to amass 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists in her career.
Big D: One of the stingiest defenses in the America East conference, UMBC ranks second in the league and 54th in the NCAA in field goal percentage defense (.371) and ranks third the conference and 68th in the nation in scoring defense (59.2 ppg). The Retrievers have held opponents below 20 points in a half five times this season - Dec. 29 against Texas State (15/1st), Dec. 9 at Longwood (16/1st), Nov. 21 vs. Towson (17/1st), Dec. 28 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (18/1st) and Jan. 13 against Binghamton (18/1st). Similarly, UMBC has held opponents below 20 percent shooting in a period in four games - Nov. 26 vs. NJIT (16.7 percent/2nd), Dec. 28 vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (17.9 percent/1st), Dec. 29 vs. Texas State (18.2 percent/1st) and Dec. 9 at Longwood (18.5 percent/1st).
Three's Company: Junior guard Kristin Drabyn leads the America East and ranks 84th in the nation with 2.16 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. As a team, UMBC ranks second in the America East and 50th in the NCAA in three-pointers made per game (5.79). Senior point guard Brittnie Hughes is shooting 39.7 percent from long distance, third-best in the conference, and ranks 10th with 1.42 treys per game.
Block Party: Junior forward Amanda Robinson blocked a season-high five shots - one off her career high - on Dec. 29 against Texas State. She ranks fourth in the conference with 1.32 bpg and is tied for first with 1.67 in six America East games. Senior forward Sharri Rohde ranks sixth in the league with 0.95 bpg. She is fifth all-time with 81 career blocks, while Robinson is tied for sixth place all-time with 74 career rejections.
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 fifth (1.95 spg) and Rohde 10th (1.58 spg). Rohde has averaged 2.17 steals in six conference games this season, fifth-best in the league. She ranks 13th all-time with 132, while Hughes took sole possession of 14th place with 129 after notching two takeaways at Hartford. The Retrievers rank fourth as a team with 8.53 steals per game, but are second in conference games with 9.17 per contest.
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 .351 career shooting percentage from long distance and ranks ninth with 67 career three-point field goals. In addition, Drabyn's 41 triples and 127 attempts this season rank third 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.
Double Vision: Four of UMBC's five starters scored in double figures in UMBC's first two conference games, including junior forward Amanda Robinson (22/14), senior forward Sharri Rohde (14/10), senior point guard Brittnie Hughes (12/15) and junior guard Kristin Drabyn (12/13). It was the third and fourth time this season that at least four players have scored in double digits, as they same four did it at Rider on Dec. 19, and freshman guard Carlee Cassidy joined them against NJIT on Nov. 26 to make five Retrievers with at least 10 points apiece.
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.
At the Line: The Retrievers rank seventh in the America East in free throw percentage (.688); but after shooting a season-worst 48.4 percent from the charity stripe against Navy on Dec. 6, UMBC has shot better than 70 percent in eight of its last 11 games, including a season-best 87 percent (20-for-23) against Boston U. Junior guard Kristin Drabyn is 22-for-24, but missed a foul shot against Binghamton for the first time since the season opener against George Washington. She had made 20 in a row. Senior point guard Brittnie Hughes is shooting 90.5 percent (19-for-21) from the charity stripe in six conference games, third-best in the league.
20/20: There have been eight 20-point performances by Retrievers this year, three by senior forward Sharri Rohde, who reached the 20-point plateau in two consecutive games earlier this month. Senior point guard Brittnie Hughes and junior forward Amanda Robinson have each 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.
On the Glass: Senior forward Sharri Rohde ranks third in the America East Conference with 6.9 rebounds per game, nearly two more rebounds per contest than her career average entering the season. Junior forward Amanda Robinson also ranks 13th in the league with 5.4 rpg. However, the Retrievers have been out-rebounded by nearly nine boards per game this season, the worst margin in the conference, and have only won the rebounding battle three times.
Hoosier State Trio: Three Retrievers hail from Indiana, and all three are finding regular playing time. Senior forward Sharri Rohde leads the team with 14.1 ppg and 6.9 rpg and has started 103 games in a row. Junior guard Kristin Drabyn has started every game so far this season and is averaging 10.7 ppg, while senior Heather Luttrell has started five games and is averaging 21.1 minutes in 19 contests.
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.