BALTIMORE—Freshman guard Michelle Kurowski (Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville) and junior guard Carlee Cassidy (Syracuse, N.Y./Westhill) each scored 22 points to lead the UMBC women's basketball team (1-1) to its first victory of the season, 89-60, over George Mason (0-3) Wednesday evening in the Retrievers' home opener at the RAC Arena.
The Retrievers got off to a slow start, hitting just three of their first 13 shots from the field as George Mason took a 10-7 lead at the 12:25 mark. But a 19-6 UMBC run sparked by 10 points by Kurowski put the hosts ahead, 26-16, just six minutes later, and they never looked back. The Retrievers led, 38-26, at halftime.
UMBC came out on fire in the second half, making seven of its first eight attempts to take a 22-point advantage, 58-36, with 15:40 to play. Freshman forward Erin Brown (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) scored six points in the first three minutes of the period.
The Retrievers held the Patriots without a field goal for eight full minutes while opening a 33-point lead, 73-40, at the 11:40 mark.
UMBC shot 52.9 percent (18-for-34) in the second half and 46 percent (29-for-63) in the game. The Retrievers made 10 of 21 three-pointers (47.6 percent), with eight coming in the second period.
Kurowski (17 points) and Cassidy (14 points) both did most of their damage in the first half before getting into foul trouble early in the second. Kurowski drained three of four 3-point attempts and added a game-high eight rebounds and was named the America East Player of the Game.
In a balanced offensive attack in which 10 of 13 Retrievers scored, freshman guard Katie Brooks (Maryville, Tenn./Heritage) was the only other UMBC player in double figures, as she tallied 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting to go along with a game-high five assists. Brown finished with eight points and six rebounds.
Kurowski and Cassidy are the first pair of Retriever teammates to tally 20 points apiece in a single game since Cassidy and former teammate Kristin Drabyn accomplished the feat on Feb. 9, 2008 against Maine. In addition, after tallying 31 points in the season opener at George Washington on Saturday, Cassidy is the first Retriever to score 20 or more points in back-to-back games since she scored 20 in three straight from Dec. 28-Jan. 5 last season.
The 89 points were the most UMBC has scored since Jan. 16, 1993, a 91-89 overtime victory against Charleston Southern. The Retrievers had not scored 80 points in a game since Feb. 20, 2007 at Vermont.
George Mason center Brittney Wilkins led the Patriots with 18 points, while guard Rashauna Hobbs tallied 15 and guard Brittany Poindexter added 13 to go along with a team-high seven rebounds.
The teams combined for 47 fouls, 59 free throws and 53 turnovers. The Retrievers scored 25 points off 29 Patriot miscues. In addition, UMBC took 30 foul shots, its most in a game since going to the line 31 times on Dec. 6, 2006 against Navy. The Retrievers shot 70 percent from the charity stripe, with Kurowski, Cassidy, Brown and sophomore forward Meghan Colabella (Upper Montclair, N.J./Montclair) combining to go 18-for-20.
The Retrievers return to action on Friday, Nov. 21, when they take on Northern Illinois at 8 p.m. at the Seton Hall Basketball Classic.