Balanced Attack Leads Women’s Basketball to Season-Opening 72-50 Win Over Morgan State

Erin Brown notched a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Erin Brown notched a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
BALTIMORE—Four Retrievers reached double figures as the UMBC women's basketball team cruised to a 72-50 victory over cross-town rival Morgan State Friday evening at the RAC Arena in the season opener for both teams.

In her Retriever debut, junior guard Brittany Crowell(Brandywine, Md./Gwynn Park/James Madison) led all scorers with a career-high 15 points, draining three 3-pointers, while senior forward Erin Brown (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds to earn America East Player of the Game honors. Senior guard Michelle Kurowski (Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville) added 13 points, five rebounds and four assists, while freshman point guard Lauren Chase (Bowie, Md./Riverdale Baptist) chipped in 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting in her collegiate debut.

Kurowski's fourth rebound of the game was the 500th of her career. She becomes just the 15th Retriever ever to record 500 caroms, and she is just the 11th with both 1,000 points and 500 boards.

UMBC's first three field goals of the game all came from long distance, as Brown, Chase and Crowell each drained a triple. The Retrievers extended their lead to 11 points, 17-6, on another 3-pointer by Crowell, and after back-to-back baskets by the Bears, UMBC used an 8-0 run to take a 14-point advantage, 25-11, with 7:09 to play, and Morgan State was never able to cut its deficit to single digits. The Retrievers led, 34-22, at halftime.

Morgan State center Amarah Williams tallied a quick layup to open the second half before UMBC 13 of the next 17 points to take a commanding 47-28 lead after five minutes.

With the Retrievers up by 21 with 11 minutes to play, the Bears rattled off an 11-2 spurt to pull to within 12 points, 55-43, over the next three minutes. But UMBC managed to curb the rally, ending the game with seven straight points while holding the visitors to just one field goal over the final 7:54 of action.

The Retrievers shot 45.2 percent (28-for-62) in the game, including 48.5 percent (16-for-33) in the second half, while holding the Bears to just 29.5 percent (18-for-61) from the floor. UMBC held a 45-30 advantage on the glass.

Morgan State guard Omara Parker led her team with 14 points and five rebounds.

The win was UMBC's school-record 12th straight at the RAC dating to Dec. 4, 2010. The previous mark of 11 straight home victories was set from Jan. 28, 1986-Jan. 22, 1987.

Coincidentally, it was also the Retrievers' first win in a season opener since 2005, when they also defeated Morgan State by an identical 72-50 score.

The Retrievers hit the road for the first time this season when they visit former Northeast Conference rival Monmouth on Sunday at 3 p.m.