The UMBC women's basketball team (10-10, 3-4 America East) will host America East rival Vermont (14-6, 4-3 America East) Wednesday evening at the RAC Arena. Tip-off is 7 p.m.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: UMBC is coming off a 74-66 loss to America East foe Maine last Wednesday, dropping its record to 10-10 overall and 3-4 in conference play, but the Retrievers have had a week off to regroup. Senior forward Sharri Rohde has scored in double figures in 17 of 20 games this season and leads the team with 14.1 ppg and 7.0 rpg. She is the only player in the America East to rank in the top 10 in scoring, rebounding and assists. UMBC is also the only team in the conference with four players ranking in the league's top 20 in scoring, with Rohde, senior point guard Brittnie Hughes, junior guard Kristin Drabyn and junior forward Amanda Robinson all averaging double figures. The Retrievers also rank 15th in the nation in turnovers per game.
CATAMOUNT UPDATE: The Vermont Catamounts are 14-6 on the season and 4-3 in the America East after Saturday's 70-44 victory over New Hampshire. After starting the season 13-3, Vermont has dropped three of its last four games. The Catamounts' freshman duo of Courtnay Pilypaitis and May Kotsopoulos have combined to win nine America East Rookie of the Week awards this season and rank 1-2 in team scoring.
Inside the Series: Wednesday's game marks the seventh all-time meeting between UMBC and Vermont, and the Catamounts hold a 4-2 series advantage. The first meeting occurred on Jan. 31, 2006, a 65-55 victory for host UMBC. The Catamounts then won the next four games in the series before UMBC took the last meeting, 72-63, on Feb. 12, 2006, at RAC Arena. The Catamounts are 1-2 all-time on UMBC's home court.
In the last meeting, Feb. 12, 2006, the Retrievers came away with a 72-63 victory at RAC Arena, extending their winning streak to six in a row. UMBC rallied from a 16-point defecit late in the first half and held Vermont to just two field goals in the final eight minutes, outscoring the Catamounts 22-6 in that span. Forward Sharri Rohde led five Retrievers in double figures with a double-double of her own with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Heather Luttrell added a career-high 16 points on 4-for-4 shooting from long distance.
For Starters: At 3-4 in conference play, UMBC is off to its best league start since joining the America East in 2003-04.
Rohde Passes 1,000: Senior forward Sharri Rohde became the 15th player in UMBC history to score 1,000 points in her career with 10 against Stony Brook on Jan. 7. She is currenly tied with Nikki Tinsley ('94) for ninth all-time with 1,064 points.. Next on her list is Anne Wellington ('92) at 1,068.
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 20 games this season, she has extended her start streak to 104 games and is tied for third 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 557 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 17 out of 20 games overall. Junior guard Kristin Drabyn has reached double digits in 12 of her last 17 games and 13 times overall. Senior point guard Brittnie Hughes has also reached the 10-point plateau 13 times this season, including seven of the last 10, while junior forward Amanda Robinson had her four-game double-figure scoring streak snapped at Hartford, but has reached double digits eight times.
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 96th in the NCAA with 14.30 assists per game, and senior point guard Brittnie Hughes leads the league and ranks 59th in the nation with 4.60 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 311 and 295, respectively. Hughes ranks 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 4.60 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 five 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 67th in the NCAA in field goal percentage defense (.377) and ranks third the conference and 81st in the nation in scoring defense (59.9 ppg). The Retrievers have held opponents below 20 points in a half five times this season and below 20 percent shooting in a period in four games.
Three's Company: Junior guard Kristin Drabyn leads the America East and ranks 85th in the nation with 2.10 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. Seven different Retrievers made a three-pointer last Wednesday against Maine, and as a team, UMBC ranks second in the America East and 42nd in the NCAA in three-pointers made per game (5.95). Senior point guard Brittnie Hughes is shooting 38.4 percent from long distance, fifth-best in the conference, and ranks 10th with 1.40 treys per game.
Block Party: Junior forward Amanda Robinson ranks fourth in the conference with 1.25 blocks per game. She blocked a season-high five shots - one off her career high - on Dec. 29 against Texas State. Senior forward Sharri Rohde ranks ninth 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 (2.05 spg) and Rohde tied for ninth (1.55 spg). Rohde has averaged 1.86 steals in seven conference games this season, eighth-best in the league. The classmates are tied for 13th all-time at UMBC with 133 takeaways apiece. As a team, the Retrievers are averaging 8.55 steals per game, fourth-best in the conference, but rank third in America East games with a 9.14 average.
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 .343 career shooting percentage from long distance and ranks ninth with 68 career three-point field goals. In addition, Drabyn's 42 triples and 134 attempts this season rank third and second, respectively 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.
On the Glass: Senior forward Sharri Rohde ranks third in the America East Conference with 7.0 rebounds per game, nearly two more rebounds per contest than her career average entering the season. Junior forward Amanda Robinson also ranks 15th in the league with 5.3 rpg. However, the Retrievers have been out-rebounded by nearly 8.5 boards per game this season, the worst margin in the conference, and have only won the rebounding battle three times.
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.
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.
New Kid on the Block: Freshman guard Carlee Cassidy has scored 50 of her 83 points (60.2 percent) this season in three games. She scored a career-high 17 against Coppin State, then scored 16 three games later against NJIT on Nov. 26. She did not reach double figures again until tying her career best with 17 at New Hampshire on Jan. 20.
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.