Three Retrievers Post Double-Doubles as Women’s Basketball Survives Monmouth, 68-64

Tope Obajolu recorded her third career double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Tope Obajolu recorded her third career double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J.—Three Retrievers posted double-doubles as the UMBC women's basketball team improved to 2-0 with a 68-64 victory over Monmouth (0-1) Sunday afternoon at the Hawks' Multipurpose Activity Center.

Senior center Topé Obajolu (Randallstown, Md./Archbishop Carroll) led all scorers with 20 points and added 10 rebounds for her third career double-double, while senior forward Erin Brown (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) recorded her second in as many games with 18 points and 11 boards. In addition, freshman point guard Lauren Chase (Bowie, Md./Riverdale Baptist) finished one rebound shy of a triple-double with 10 points, 11 assists and nine caroms. Brown knocked down four 3-pointers, while Obajolu was 9-for-15 from the field.

Monmouth jumped out to a 9-0 lead after three minutes of play, but the Retrievers responded with a 12-2 run to take a 12-11 lead four minutes later. The Hawks scored nine of the next 11 points to go back up by four with 8:31 to go in the first half, but a layup by senior guard Michelle Kurowski (Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville) at the 7:08 mark sparked a 14-5 spurt that gave UMBC a game-high eight-point lead, 35-27, with 1:39 left before a pair of 3-pointers by Monmouth guard Shira Schecht pulled the hosts to within three, 37-34, at halftime.

Obajolu had 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting in the first period to lead the Retrievers, who shot 54.8 percent (17-for-31) from the floor in the opening 20 minutes.

The Hawks scored the first five points of the second stanza to regain a 39-37 advantage, as the lead changed hands six times in the first nine minutes of the half. But a layup by Kurowski at the 11:21 mark gave the Retrievers the lead for good.

UMBC extended its lead back to eight points, 56-64, with 3:23 to go, as Brown tallied 11 of 14 points in a three-minute stretch. But Monmouth forward Abby Martin scored six straight points for the Hawks, and a layup by guard Alexis Canady made it a two-point game, 66-64, with 22 seconds left.

But Chase knocked down a pair of clutch free throws with 16 seconds left to put UMBC back up by four, and the Hawks' last-second 3-point attempt fell short, as the Retrievers held on for the 68-64 win.

UMBC shot 49.2 percent in the game and outrebounded Monmouth, 35-33. The Retrievers dominated inside, tallying 34 points in the paint.

Monmouth guard Carly Thibault led the Hawks with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including 5-of-7 from long distance. Betsy Gadziala added 13 points on 6-of-12 from the floor.

The Retrievers return to action on Wednesday, when they visit cross-town rival Coppin State.

Notes: UMBC is 2-0 for the first time since 2005… The last time two Retrievers recorded double-doubles in the same game was Jan. 15, 2011, against Vermont, when Kurowski and Meghan Colabella accomplished the feat.