Baltimore-In a game in which both teams shot below 35 percent from the field, the UMBC women's basketball team (10-11, 3-5 America East) dropped a 46-38 decision to America East rival Vermont (15-6, 5-3 America East) Wednesday evening at RAC Arena.
Both teams' points totals were season lows, and the Retrievers scored less than 40 points for the first time since a 55-27 loss at the Catamounts on Feb. 2, 2005. UMBC's .283 field goal percentage (15-for-53) is also the lowest of the season and marked the first time the Retrievers shot below 30 percent since Feb. 26, 2005 at Hartford, a 29.8 percent performance. Vermont did not fare much better from the floor, however, connecting on just 31.9 percent (15-for-47) of its field goal attempts.
Sparked by two three-pointers by May Kotsopoulos, the Catamounts jumped out to a 10-0 lead after 3:12 of play and took a game-high 12-point lead at 24-12 with 4:35 remaining in the first half. But an 8-2 UMBC scoring run which included two triples by junior guard Kristin Drabyn cut the deficit in half and put the Retrievers back in the game, 26-20, with 36 seconds left.
Vermont did score the final three points of the period to take a 29-20 lead at halftime. Kotsopoulos led all scorers with 10 points in the first half, while Drabyn led the Retrievers with six.
The Catamounts led 33-23 at the 17:26 mark, but did not score again for seven minutes. The Retrievers could not take advantage, however, scoring only four points in that span and suffering a six-minute field goal drought of their own.
UMBC pulled to within five points, 35-30, with 7:09 remaining in the game, but Brittney Cross drilled a three-pointer on Vermont's next possession, and the Retrievers could not get closer than six points for the rest of the game.
The Catamounts made only five of 20 field goals in the second half for 17 points, while the Retrievers connected on just seven of 27 attempts from the floor for 18 points. UMBC also shot a season-low 33.3 percent (4-for-12) from the foul line, while Vermont was 10-for-15 (66.7 percent) from the charity stripe. The Catamounts also turned the ball over 25 times.
Kotsopoulos led all scorers with 11 points, while Cross scored 10. Nicole Trott added eight points and nine rebounds for the Catamounts. Junior forward Amanda Robinson led the Retrievers with nine points and nine rebounds, while junior guard Morgan Hatten tied a career high for the second straight game with eight boards. Sophomore center Mackenzie Butler added a career-high four steals in her first game since injuring her knee on Dec. 17. Robinson and Kotsopoulos were named the Marlow Sports America East Players of the Game for their respective teams.
The Retrievers return to action on Sunday, Feb. 4, when they take on America East rival Boston University in Boston at 1 p.m. UMBC defeated the Terriers, 66-58, in the conference opener on Jan. 4 at RAC Arena.