Obajolu Leads Women’s Basketball to 69-51 Triumph Over New Hampshire

Tope Obajolu became the fifth Retriever ever to record 100 career blocks.
Tope Obajolu became the fifth Retriever ever to record 100 career blocks.

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BALTIMORE—Junior center Topé Obajolu (Randallstown,Md./Archbishop Carroll) scored a career-high 28 points to lead the UMBC women's basketball team (11-9, 5-2 AE) to  69-51 victory over America East rival New Hampshire (5-14, 2-5 AE) Sunday afternoon at the RAC Arena.

The win was the seventh straight at home for the Retrievers, who are 8-1 at the RAC Arena this season. In addition, UMBC has won 10 of its last 14 games and is 5-2 in America East play for the first time ever in eight seasons in the league.

Obajolu scored 12 of UMBC's first 14 points of the game, and the Retrievers led, 20-12, with 7:43 to play in the first half. Back-to-back 3-pointers by New Hampshire guards Abigail LaRosa and Lauren Wells sparked an 8-0 Wildcat run that tied the game 3:17 later, but the Retrievers scored the final eight points of the period to take a 28-20 lead at halftime.

Leading by six points, 39-33, with 11:30 remaining in the game, UMBC used a 17-4 run over the next 4:30 to take a commanding 19-point lead, 56-37. Junior forward Erin Brown (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) scored seven points during that stretch.

New Hampshire never got closer than 14 the rest of the way, and the Retrievers led by as many as 20 on three occasions.

Obajolu's 28 points came on 10-of-17 from the floor and 8-of-10 from the foul line, and she was named America East Player of the Game. She also became the fifth Retriever ever to block 100 shots in her career.

Brown netted 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting, while senior guard Michele Brokans (Lansdale,Pa./Lansdale Catholic) added a season-best eight points to go along with seven assists and three steals. Senior forward Meghan Colabella (Upper Montclair, N.J./Montclair) also stuffed the stat sheet with seven points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals.

New Hampshire center Jill McDonald earned her team's Player of the Game honor with 14 points, while guard Cari Reed contributed 11 on three 3-pointers.

The Retrievers committed just five turnovers in the game, with none in the second half, while forcing 18 Wildcat miscues with 13 steals. UMBC scored 27 points off UNH turnovers and recorded 20 assists on 25 total field goals in the game.

UMBC shot 44.6 percent from the floor and held a 32-26 advantage on rebounds. After making just seven of 24 attempts (29.2 percent) in the first half, New Hampshire shot 55.0 percent (11-for-20) in the second and finished the game at 40.9 percent.

The Retrievers return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 26, when they visit America East rival Albany at 12 p.m.