Top-Seeded Retrievers Fall to No. 4 Hartford in America East Semifinals, 66-48

Erin Brown led the Retrievers with 14 points and nine rebounds against Hartford.
Erin Brown led the Retrievers with 14 points and nine rebounds against Hartford.

WEST HARTFORD, Conn.—The top-seeded UMBC women's basketball team (20-11) saw its quest for its second America East championship fall short Sunday afternoon in a 66-48 loss to No. 4 Hartford (16-15) at the Hawks' Chase Arena., snapping its seven-game winning streak.

The Retrievers' season is not over, however. As America East regular-season champions, UMBC will earn the league's automatic bid into the Women's National Invitation Tournament. The Retrievers will learn their WNIT first-round opponent on Monday, March 14, with first-round games taking place March 16-18.

UMBC got off to a slow start, watching Hartford jump out to a 15-2 lead after 8:15 of play, and was never able to recover, making just four of 24 field goals (16 percent) in the first half.

The Retrievers used a pair of 3-pointers by senior forward Meghan Colabella (Upper Montclair, N.J./Montclair) and junior forward Erin Brown (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) to score 10 of the game's next 13 points to pull back to within six with seven minutes to go, but a triple by Hartford guard Mary Silvia sparked another 13-2 run that put the Hawks on top, 31-14, with 1:31 left. Four free throws by Colabella made it 31-18 at halftime.

Despite outshooting Hartford in the second half, the Retrievers were never able to cut their deficit to single digits, as the Hawks made 18 of 24 free throws in the period.

Brown finished one rebound shy of a double-double with a game-high 14 points and nine boards. Junior guard Michelle Kurowski (Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville) was the only other Retriever in double figures with 12 points. Hartford was led by guard Daphne Elliott, who tallied 13 points and nine rebounds.