The UMBC women's basketball team (8-8, 1-2 America East) hosts America East rival Binghamton (5-10, 1-1 America East) Saturday evening at 7 p.m. at the RAC Arena. The game can be heard live on WVIE 1370 AM.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: After winning four games in a row, UMBC has now lost two straight, including Wednesday's 70-51 loss at Albany. Junior forward Amanda Robinson is averaging 17.0 ppg in three America East games this season, and she scored the Retrievers' final nine points against the Great Danes en route to a game-high 15. One game after becoming the 15th player in UMBC history with 1,000 career points, senior forward Sharri Rohde made her 100th consecutive start. She leads the team with 14.6 ppg and 6.8 rpg on the season. The Retrievers are one of two America East teams with four players ranking among the top 20 in the conference in scoring.
BEARCAT UPDATE: The Binghamton Bearcats are coming off a 54-49 victory over Maine on Wednesday and are 5-10 on the season, including 1-1 in America East action. Junior guard Laura Sario scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the contest. She leads the team with 13.5 ppg. Prior to winning two in a row, Binghamton had lost eight of their last nine games. The Bearcats rank eighth in the conference in scoring and field goal percentage but are second in scoring defense.
Inside the Series: Saturday's game marks the eighth all-time meeting between UMBC and Binghamton, and the Bearcats hold a 5-2 series advantage. The first meeting occurred on Jan. 28, 2004, a 61-48 victory for host Binghamton. The Bearcats took the first two games in the series before UMBC won, 50-46, on Jan. 22, 2005, at the Binghamton Events Center. The teams alternated victories over the next two seasons, but the Bearcats have won two in a row, including an America East Tournament quarterfinals matchup in 2006. As conference rivals, the teams have met twice a year since UMBC joined the league in 2004, and the Retrievers are 1-2 against Binghamton at the RAC Arena.
In the last meeting, March 10, 2006, the Bearcats came away with a 72-66 overtime victory in the America East Tournament quarterfinals. UMBC led by six with 1:05 left in the game, but Rachel Laws scored five of the Bearcats final eight points to tie the game. In overtime, the lead changed hands twice before Laws gave Binghamton the lead for good. She led all scorers with 26 points and 10 rebounds, while Sharri Rohde led the Retrievers with 14 points.
For Starters: After a season-best four-game winning streak in late December and early January, the Retrievers have dropped two straight and are 8-8 for the second year in a row. UMBC is 1-2 in America East play for the second time in three years.
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 15th all-time with 1,019 points. Next on her list is Monica Logan ('99) with 1,036.
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 16 games this season, she has extended her start streak to 100 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. Next on her list in that category is Karen Woodard ('90) with 533.
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.
Drabyn Named Player of the Week: Junior guard Kristin Drabyn was named America East Player of the Week last week 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.
Seeing Double: Senior forward Sharri Rohde has scored in double figures in each of her last eight games - the second-longest streak in the conference - and 14 out of 16 overall, while junior guard Kristin Drabyn has reached double digits in 10 of her last 13 games and 11 times overall. Senior point guard Brittnie Hughes has also reached the 10-point plateau 11 times this season, including five of the last six. Drabyn had her five game double-figure streak snapped atr Albany when she was held scoreless.
Coaching Milestones: UMBC head coach Phil Stern is on the brink of two milestones. Last 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.
Lending a Helping Hand: The Retrievers rank third in the America East and 69th in the NCAA with 14.75 assists per game, and senior point guard Brittnie Hughes leads the league and ranks 47th in the nation with 4.69 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 294 and 285, 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 4.69 helpers per game this season, with a career-best 12 on Dec. 29 against Texas State to gain the lead.
Big D: One of the stingiest defenses in the America East conference, UMBC ranks second in the league and 42nd in the NCAA in field goal percentage defense (.374) and ranks third the conference and 68th in the nation in scoring defense (60.0 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 59th in the nation with 2.13 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 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 53rd in the NCAA in three-pointers made per game (5.81). Senior point guard Brittnie Hughes is shooting 43.6 percent from long distance, third-best in the conference, and is tied for eighth with 1.50 treys per game, including a career-high four against Stony Brook last Sunday.
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 third in the conference with 1.19 bpg and has blocked nine shots in her last four games. Senior forward Sharri Rohde, UMBC's active blocks leader, ranks fifth all-time with 78 career blocks, while Robinson is ninth with 68.
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 1.94 steals per game in 2006-07 for a team-best 31, and with 123 steals in her career, she has caught up with Rohde, who has recorded 24 steals in 16 games for 126 in four years. Rohde ranks 14th all-time in UMBC history, while Hughes ranks 16th. Hughes also ranks fifth in the America East in the category, while the Retrievers rank fourth as a team with 8.38 steals per game. Rohde has averaged 2.33 steals per game in three America East contests, tied for third-best in the conference.
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 .341 career shooting percentage from long distance and is tied for ninth with 60 career three-point field goals. In addition, Drabyn's 34 triples and 112 attempts this season rank fifth and fourth, respectively, among all-time Retriever juniors.
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 (.680); 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 six of its last eight games, including a season-best 87 percent (20-for-23) against Boston U. Senior forward Sharri Rohde ranks eighth in the America East at 72.6 percent and has made 36 of her last 43 attempts. Junior guard Kristin Drabyn is 19-for-20 on the year and has not missed since the season opener at George Washington.
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.
On the Glass: Senior forward Sharri Rohde ranks fourth in the America East Conference with 6.8 rebounds per game, nearly two more rebounds per contest than her career average entering the season. Junior forward Amanda Robinson also ranks 11th in the league with 5.4 rpg. However, the Retrievers have been out-rebounded by more than eight 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 14.6 ppg and 6.8 rpg and has started 100 games in a row. Junior guard Kristin Drabyn has started every game so far this season and is averaging 10.8 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.