BALTIMORE—UMBC junior guard Carlee Cassidy (Syracuse, N.Y./Westhill) became the 16th player in Retriever history to score 1,000 career points, and the UMBC women's basketball team (11-7, 3-2 AEC) defeated America East rival Albany (3-14, 1-3 AEC) by a score of 76-63 Wednesday afternoon in front of a crowd of 1,517 fans, a RAC Arena women's basketball record. More than 900 local elementary and middle school students came out to support the Retrievers for UMBC's fourth annual Midday Madness.
Cassidy is also the fourth-fastest Retriever to reach the milestone as she did it in her 77th career game and just the third to accomplish the feat during her junior season.
The game remained close for the first 12 minutes as the teams alternated baskets. UMBC led, 22-18, with 8:37 left in the first half before using a 12-2 run over the next three minutes to open a 14-point lead, 34-20. The Retrievers led, 40-25, at the break.
UMBC shot a torrid 56.3 percent (18-for-32) in the first period while holding the Great Danes to 34.4 percent (11-for-32). UMBC freshman forward Erin Brown (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) was a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor en route to a team-best 10 points in the half.
But the second half was a different story, as Albany opened on a 13-2 run over the first five minutes to cut their deficit to four points, 42-38.
The Retrievers' lead was at three points, 53-50, with 8:09 left before a jumper by Brown and a three-pointer by sophomore guard Michele Brokans (Lansdale, Pa./Lansdale Catholic) put them back up by eight.
Needing 12 points to achieve her milestone, Cassidy was stuck at 11 for more than eight minutes before drilling a triple at the 5:09 mark. She went on to score 10 of UMBC's final 18 points of the contest and finished with a game-high 21 points.
Leading by just five points, 68-63, with 1:12 remaining, the Retrievers finished the game on an 8-0 run, including six straight free throws in the final 45 seconds.
Brown finished with 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting and was named UMBC's America East Player of the Game. Sophomore forward Meghan Colabella (Upper Montclair, N.J./Montclair) posted a game-high nine rebounds, while freshman guard Katie Brooks (Maryville, Tenn./Heritage) dished out six assists and freshman center Topé Obajolu (Randallstown, Md./Archbishop Carroll) tied her career high with three blocks.
Albany guard Janea Aiken led four Great Danes in double figures with 18 points and added a team-best seven boards. She added three assists, two blocks and two steals.
The Retrievers conclude their three-game homestand on Saturday, Jan. 24, when they host America East rival Binghamton at 7 p.m.