Women's Basketball Goes for Fifth Straight Win, Hosts Stony Brook Sunday

The UMBC women's basketball team (8-6, 1-0 AEC) hosts America East Conference rival Stony Brook (4-9, 0-1 AEC) Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. at the RAC Arena. The game can be heard on WVIE 1370 AM.

RETRIEVER UPDATE: UMBC opened its America east schedule with a 66-58 victory over Boston University on Thursday at the RAC Arena. It was the Retrievers' fourth straight victory and put them a season-best two games above .500 at 8-6. It was 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. Four players scored in double figures against the Terriers, led by junior forward Amanda Robinson with 22 points. Senior forward Sharri Rohde leads the team with 15.0 ppg and 7.3 rpg.

SEAWOLVES UPDATE: The Stony Brook Seawolves are coming off a 61-54 home loss to defending conference champion Hartford in their America East opener on Thursday. The defeat dropped the Seawolves to 4-9 on the season. Jessica Smith (16.6 ppg) and Mykeema Ford (16.0 ppg) are the league's top two scorers, while Smith (7.1 rpg) and Dana Ferraro (7.5 rpg) rank among the top five rebounders in the America East. The Seawolves rank second in the conference in scoring (67.3 ppg).

Who's Up Next: The Retrievers play their first America East road game when they travel to Albany on Wednesday, Jan. 10.

Inside the Series: Tonight's game marks the seventh all-time meeting between UMBC and Stony Brook, and the Seawolves hold a 5-1 advantage. The first meeting occurred on Jan. 7, 2004, a 53-49 victory for host Stony Brook. The Seawolves took the first four games in the series before UMBC won, 70-48, on Jan. 29, 2006 in Stony Brook. As America East Conference rivals, the teams have met twice a year since 2004, and the Seawolves have never lost in RAC Arena. In the last meeting, Feb. 28, 2006, the Seawolves came away with a 62-46 victory at RAC Arena during UMBC's season-ending four-game losing streak. Matea Pender scored 15 points to lead the Retrievers, while Jessica Smith and Dana Ferraro each posted double-doubles.

For Starters: UMBC's 66-58 victory over Boston University in its America East opener was the Retrievers' fourth straight victory and fifth in the last six games, and it put them a season-best two games above .500 at 8-6. It was 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. UMBC opens the season 8-6 for the second year in a row.

Four in a Row: UMBC is riding its first winning streak of the season after alternating wins and losses since the second game of the year. The four consecutive victories are the most by the Retrievers since a six-game win streak that ran from Jan. 26-Feb. 12, 2006.

Rohde Nears 1,000: After scoring 14 points against Boston University on Thursday, senior forward Sharri Rohde is just seven points away from becoming the 15th player in UMBC history to score 1,000 career points. She currenly ranks 15th all-time with 993 points. Next on her list is Monica Logan ('99) with 1,036.

Drabyn Named Player of the Week: Junior guard Kristin Drabyn was named America East Player of the Week on Tuesday after averaging 19.0 ppg at the Battle at the Border Tournament. Drabyn set new career highs for scoring in each contest with 18 and 20 points, respectively. She drilled nine three-pointers in two games, including a career-best six against Texas State, and shot 56.5 percent (13-for-23) from the field in the tournament. The Player of the Week award is the first of Drabyn's career and UMBC's second of the season. Senior forward Sharri Rohde earned the honor on Dec. 3.

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 14 games this season, she has extended her start streak to 98 games and moved into sole possession fourth place 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.

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 last night against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi with 17 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.

Join the Club: Senior forward Sharri Rohde posted her 500th career rebound on Dec. 19 at Rider and is just seven points from 1,000 in her career. She is on pace to become just the 10th Retriever ever to reach both milestones, and she is the 13th player in UMBC history to amass 500 rebounds. Next on her list is Karen Woodard ('90) with 533.

Seeing Double: Senior forward Sharri Rohde has scored in double figures in each of her last six games and 12 out of 14 overall, while junior guard Kristin Drabyn has reached double digits in four straight games, nine of her last 11 and 10 times overall. Senior point guard Brittnie Hughes has also reached the 10-point plateau nine times this season.

20/20: There have been eighth 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.

Lending a Helping Hand: The Retrievers rank second in the America East and 62nd in the NCAA with 15.31 assists per game, and after tallying a career-high and conference-best 12 dishes against Texas State, senior point guard Brittnie Hughes leads the league and ranks 62nd in the nation with 5.00 apg. The Retrievers are averaging 15.75 apg in the last four games, and Hughes has averaged 6.5 apg in that span. 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. The Retrievers also lead the league with a 0.97 assist-to-turnover ratio, and two Retrievers rank in the top 15 in that category - Hughes (8th, 1.23) and Rohde (15th, 0.83).

Coaching Milestones: UMBC head coach Phil Stern is on the brink of two milestones. Thursday's victory over Boston University was the 143rd win of his career and his 49th at UMBC, leaving him seven shy of 150 career victories and one shy of 50 wins at the Retriever helm.

Helping Hand, Part II: Senior point guard Brittnie Hughes and senior forward Sharri Rohde are UMBC's active career leaders in assists with 289 and 279, respectively. They rank eighth and ninth all-time in Retriever history. Rohde entered the season with 22 more dishes in her career than Hughes, but the point guard has averaged 5.00 helpers per game with a career-best 12 on Dec. 29 against Texas State to gain the lead.

Block Party: Junior forward Amanda Robinson blocked a season-high five shots - one off her career high - on Dec. 29 against Texas State. She is tied with senior forward Sharri Rohde for fifth in the conference with 1.07 bpg. Rohde, UMBC's active blocks leader, ranks fifth all-time with 78 career blocks, while Robinson is 10th with 64.

Big D: One of the stingiest defenses in the America East conference, UMBC leads the league and ranks 28th in the NCAA in field goal percentage defense (.359) and ranks second the conference and 54th in the nation in scoring defense (58.4 ppg). The Retrievers have held opponents below 20 points in a half four times this season - Dec. 29 against Texas State (15/1st), Dec. 9 at Longwood (16/1st), Nov. 21 vs. Towson (17/1st) and Dec. 28 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (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 53rd in the nation with 2.36 three-pointers made per game. Drabyn drilled nine of 18 triples in two games at the Battle at the Border Tournament last week, including a career-high six against Texas State on Dec. 29. It was the most three-pointers made by a Retrievers since Ana Goncharova connected on nine on Jan. 29, 2005 against Stony Brook. As a team, UMBC ranks second in the America East and 54th in the NCAA in three-pointers made per game (5.79) and fourth in the conference in three-point percentage (.336). Senior point guard Brittnie Hughes is shooting 42.9 percent from long distance, second-best in the conference, and ranks ninth with 1.29 treys per game.

Master Thieves: Senior forward Sharri Rohde entered the season as UMBC's active leader in career steals, 10 ahead of classmate Brittnie Hughes. But Hughes has averaged 2.21 steals per game in 2006-07 for a team-best 31 and with 123 steals in her career, she has moved into 15th place all-time at UMBC and swiped the lead from Rohde, who has recorded 19 steals in 14 games for 121 in four years, tied for 16th. Hughes ranks fourth in the America East in the category, while the Retrievers rank fourth as a team with 8.14 steals per game.

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 second all-time with a .371 career shooting percentage from long distance and is tied for ninth with 59 career three-point field goals. In addition, Drabyn's 33 triples and 95 attempts this season are the fifth-most ever by a Retriever junior.

Double Vision: Four of UMBC's five starters scored in double figures against Boston University on Thursday, including junior forward Amanda Robinson (22), senior forward Sharri Rohde (14), senior point guard Brittnie Hughes (12) and junior guard Kristin Drabyn (12). It was the third 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.

At the Line: The Retrievers rank seventh in the America East in free throw percentage (.674); 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 five of its last six games, including a season-best 87 percent (20-for-23) against Boston U. Senior forward Sharri Rohde ranks ninth in the America East at 72.4 percent and has made 30 of her last 36 attempts. Junior guard Kristin Drabyn is 17-for-18 on the year and has not missed since the season opener at George Washington.

Hoosier State Trio: Three Retrievers hail from Indiana, and all three are finding regular playing time. Senior forward Sharri Rohde leads the team with 15.0 ppg and 7.3 rpg and has started 98 games in a row. Junior guard Kristin Drabyn has started every game so far this season and is averaging 11.4 ppg, while senior Heather Luttrell has started five games.

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.

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