The UMBC women's basketball team (8-7, 1-1 America East) will take on America East rival Albany (5-10, 1-1 America East) Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. at the Recreation and Convocation Center in Albany, N.Y., for its first conference road game of the season.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: UMBC had its four game winning streak snapped on Sunday with a 72-60 loss to America East rival Stony Brook at the RAC Arena. Four Retrievers - senior forward Sharri Rohde, senior point guard Brittnie Hughes, junior guard Kristin Drabyn and junior forward Amanda Robinson - have all scored in double figures in the last two games. UMBC is the only school in the America East with three players who rank among the conference's top 10 scoring leaders, as Rohde is fourth, Hughes is 8th and Drabyn is 10th. Despite Thursday's loss, the Retrievers have won five of their last seven games. Rohde leads the team with 14.7 ppg and 7.0 rpg.
GREAT DANE UPDATE: The Albany Great Danes are coming off a 57-52 loss to America East rival Maine on Sunday after winning their first conference opener since joining the league, 63-59 over Binghamton in overtime. Junior forward Gia Sanders recorded her first career double-double against the Bearcats. Amanda Ward leads the Great Danes with 11.3 ppg, while Kristin Higy is tops with 6.6 rpg. Albany ranks last in the America East in scoring (53.1 ppg) and field goal percentage (.356).
Inside the Series: Tonight's game marks the seventh all-time meeting between UMBC and Albany, and the Great Danes hold a 4-2 series advantage. The first meeting occurred on Feb. 4, 2004, a 75-58 victory for visiting Albany. The Great Danes took the first three games in the series before UMBC won, 69-53, on Feb. 19, 2005, at the RAC Arena. The Retrievers won two straight, as their 48-41 victory at home on Jan. 26, 2006, kicked off their six-game conference winning streak, but Albany took the last meeting, 63-55, at the Recreation and Convocation Center. As America East Conference rivals, the teams have met twice a year since 2004, and the Retrievers have never won in Albany.
In the last meeting, March 4, 2006, the Great Danes came away with a 63-55 victory at the Recreation and Convcation Center in the regular season finale. The Retrievers never led in the contest. Amanda Robinson posted a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds for UMBC, while Brittnie Hughes scored a team-high 15 points. Jen Schumaker led the Great Danes with 20 points.
For Starters: UMBC's 72-60 loss to America East rival Stony Brook snapped its season-best four-game winning streak, but the Retrievers have won five of their last seven games and are 8-7 for the second year in a row.
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.
Rohde Passes 1,000: With 10 points against Stony Brook on Sunday, 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 1,003 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 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.
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.
Seeing Double: Senior forward Sharri Rohde has scored in double figures in each of her last seven games - the second-longest streak in the conference - and 13 out of 15 overall, while junior guard Kristin Drabyn has reached double digits in five straight games, 10 of her last 12 and 11 times overall. Senior point guard Brittnie Hughes has also reached the 10-point plateau 10 times this season.
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 15 games this season, she has extended her start streak to 99 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.
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.
Lending a Helping Hand: The Retrievers rank second in the America East and 69th in the NCAA with 15.13 assists per game, and senior point guard Brittnie Hughes leads the league and ranks 47th in the nation with 4.93 apg. The Retrievers are averaging 17.0 apg in the last five games. 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 293 and 283, 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 4.93 helpers per game 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 (.365) and ranks fourth the conference and 68th in the nation in scoring defense (59.3 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 2.27 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 (5.87) and fifth in the conference in three-point percentage (.333). Senior point guard Brittnie Hughes is shooting 42.3 percent from long distance, second-best in the conference, and ranks eighth with 1.47 treys per game, including a career-high four against Stony Brook on 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 1.20 bpg and has blocked eight shots in her last three games. Senior forward Sharri Rohde, UMBC's active blocks leader, ranks fifth all-time with 78 career blocks, while Robinson is ninth with 67.
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 2.07 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 23 steals in 15 games for 125 in four years. Rohde is tied for 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 8.20 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 third all-time with a .357 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 104 attempts this season are the fifth-most ever by a Retriever junior.
Double Vision: Four of UMBC's five starters have scored in double figures in each of the last two 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 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 (.673); 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 seven games, including a season-best 87 percent (20-for-23) against Boston U. Senior forward Sharri Rohde ranks ninth in the America East at 71.9 percent and has made 31 of her last 37 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 7.0 rebounds per game, two more rebounds per contest than her career average entering the season. Junior forward Amanda Robinson also ranks 11th in the league with 5.5 rpg. However, the Retrievers have been out-rebounded by nearly 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 14.7 ppg and 7.0 rpg and has started 99 games in a row. Junior guard Kristin Drabyn has started every game so far this season and is averaging 11.6 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.