Juniors Key Retrievers’ 56-48 Win Over Towson

Tope Obajolu scored 16 points in just 24 minutes of action.
Tope Obajolu scored 16 points in just 24 minutes of action.

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BALTIMOREThe UMBC women's basketball team (4-5) won its third straight game, defeating cross-town rival Towson (4-4) by a score of 56-48 Tuesday evening at the RAC Arena. UMBC's three juniors – guard Michelle Kurowski (Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville), forward Erin Brown (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) and center Topé Obajolu (Randallstown, Md./Archbishop Carroll) – combined for all but eight of the Retrievers' points in the game.

Towson made just three of its first 17 shots over the first 15 minutes of action, as UMBC took a 19-11 lead at the 6:08 mark of the first half, but the Tigers ended the period on an 11-3 run that tied the score at 22-22 at halftime.

The Retrievers never trailed in the second half, and a layup by Brown at the 13:24 mark gave UMBC the lead for good, 34-32. ButTowson kept it a two-possession game until back-to-back baskets by Obajolu and Kurowski finally gave the Retrievers some breathing room with a nine-point lead, 48-39, with 2:53 remaining.

Still, the Tigers would not concede, using a 9-3 spurt over the next 2:14 to slice their deficit to just three points, 51-48, with 39 seconds left, but UMBC made five of six foul shots in the waning seconds to seal the victory.

Kurowski was named the America East Player of the Game for the second game in a row with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Obajolu netted 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting and Brown tallied 15 points and five boards. Senior forward Meghan Colabella (Upper Montclair, N.J./Montclair) dished out a career-high eight assists, while senior guard Michele Brokans (Lansdale,Pa./Lansdale Catholic) matched her career best with five steals.

Towson forward Deree Fooks led the Tigers with 13 points, while guard Sheree Ledbetter recorded 12 points and a game-high eight rebounds.

The Retrievers shot 50 percent from the floor (20-for-40), including 57.1 percent in the second half, while holding the Tigers to just 30.9 percent shooting. Towson held a 35-28 edge on rebounds, with 18 offensive boards leading to 16 second-chance points.

This marks UMBC's first three-game winning streak since Nov. 24-Dec. 2, 2009.

The Retrievers return to action on Friday when they visit in-state rival and 23rd-ranked Maryland at 7 p.m.