Durham, N.H.-The UMBC women's basketball team (10-9, 3-3 America East) jumped out to a big lead early and held on down the stretch for a 59-56 victory over America East rival New Hampshire Saturday afternoon 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 12-4 lead to start the game and made it 30-11 with 7:38 to play in the first half. The Retrievers shot 64.7 percent (11-for-17) during the first 12 and a half minutes of the game with five three-pointers during that time.
But New Hampshire ended the half on a 14-5 run, sparked by three trifectas by Clark, to cut UMBC's lead to 10 points, 35-25.
Clark led all scorers with 13 points in the first half, while Cassidy had nine and junior center Amanda Robinson scored eight, while senior point guard Brittnie Hughes dished out six assists. The Retrievers shot 48.1 percent in the period, including 54.5 percent (6-for-11) from three-point range, while holding the Wildcats to 40.9 percent from the floor. UMBC also recorded 13 points off 10 UNH turnovers.
The Wildcats scored 10 of the first 14 points of the second period to cut UMBC's lead to four at 39-35 with 14:19 to play.
The Retrievers went back ahead by nine at the 5:00 mark before Clark hit a pair of free throws and Jenny McDade drilled a three-pointer to make it a four-point game, 51-47 with 3:40 left. Junior guard Kristin Drabyn answered with a triple of her own, and UMBC was up by eight with 2:20 to go.
Amy Simpson and Clark sunk back-to-back three-pointers, and Clark, who was fouled on her attempt, hit her ensuing free throw to make it a one-point game with 50 seconds remaining. But Cassidy connected on a reverse layup with 31 seconds left for a 59-56 lead, and Clark missed two three-pointers in the final seconds before the Wildcats turned the ball over on a shot clock violation with one second left.
Cassidy's 17 points came in just 17 minutes of play. Drabyn was the only other Retriever in double digits, as she scored 11 points on 3-of-6 triples. Hughes finished with nine assists and seven points in the game, while senior forward Sharri Rohde was one point and two rebounds shy of a double-double with nine and eight, respectively.
The Retrievers shot 45.1 percent in the game despite shooting just 41.7 percent in the second half. UMBC was also 40.9 percent from long distance, drilling nine three-pointers. The Wildcats shot 35.4 percent from the floor, and their second-half comeback came on just 30.8 percent shooting, but did including 10 of 13 free throws and five more three-pointers for 10 of 29 in the game.
UMBC returns home Wednesday, Jan. 24, for a noon tipoff against Maine.