Retrievers’ Comeback Falls Short in 68-60 Loss at Coppin State

Erin Brown drained four 3-pointers and had 16 points against Coppin State.
Erin Brown drained four 3-pointers and had 16 points against Coppin State.

BALTIMORE—Trailing by 19 points at halftime, the UMBC women's basketball team (2-1) rallied to pull as close as four in the second but could not complete the comeback, falling to cross-town rival Coppin State (1-1) by a score of 68-60 Wednesday evening at the Eagles' Physical Education Complex.

The score was tied, 8-8, after four minutes of play, but the Retrievers did not score again for more than eight minutes, as Coppin State scored 10 straight points. Back-to-back jumpers by freshman point guard Lauren Chase (Bowie, Md./Riverdale Baptist) and senior guard Michelle Kurowski (Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville) made it 18-12, but the Eagles tallied 15 of the final 17 points of the half to take a commanding 33-14 lead into the break.

UMBC committed 21 turnovers in the first half and made just six of 21 field goal attempts, while Coppin State outrebounded the Retrievers, 23-15, in the first 20 minutes.

Coppin State guard Jaleah Holsey gave the hosts a 21-point lead with the first basket of the second half, but senior forward Erin Brown (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) responded with a 3-pointer, her first of three in the period.

The Eagles led, 41-24, with 14:47 to go, when Brown drained her third triple in three minutes, sparking a 14-3 UMBC run that pulled the Retrievers to within six points, 44-38, with 10:03 remaining. Brown had 11 points in the first 10 minutes, while senior center Topé Obajolu (Randallstown, Md./Archbishop Carroll) had six.

But each time the Retrievers tried to get closer, Coppin State responded, extending its lead back to nine three times.

Trailing 62-53 with 4:01 left, junior guard Kristin Coles (Charles Town, W.Va./Notre Dame Academy/American)made a layup and Kurowski sank a 3-pointer to make it a four-point game with 3:04 to go, the closest the Retrievers had been since the 10:29 mark of the first half. But they would get no closer, as Holsey responded with a jumper, and UMBC missed on its next three attempts before being forced to foul with 28 seconds remaining.

Brown led all scorers with 16 points and was 4-of-9 from 3-point range, and she added a career-high four steals. Obajolu finished with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Kurowski had 14 points and Coles chipped in nine points and seven boards.

Coppin State center Jeanine Manley led the Eagles with a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds and added four steals, while guard Shawntae Payne added 13 points and six steals off the bench.

The Retrievers shot 46.9 percent in the second half and finished at 39.6 percent for the game, while the Eagles shot 42.6 percent from the floor. Coppin State outrebounded UMBC, 47-32, and grabbed 26 offensive boards, which led to 20 second-chance points. UMBC committed 31 turnovers in the game but forced 28 Eagle miscues.

The Retrievers return to action on Saturday, when they host No. 9 Maryland at 7 p.m. at the RAC.