Albany Comes Back in Final Minute to Down Women’s Basketball, 65-63

Michelle Kurowskie scored 17 points for the Retrievers
Michelle Kurowskie scored 17 points for the Retrievers

BALTIMORE, MD. – Sara Royals' lay-up with nine seconds capped an 8-0 spurt in the final minute, as Albany came back to defeat the UMBC women's basketball team, 65-63, Wednesday night at the RAC Arena.

With the Retrievers (11-12, 5-5 America East) leading, 63-57, following two free throws by Michelle Kurowski (Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville), Albany's Cassandra Callaway hit two three-pointers to knot the game at 63-63, with 22 seconds to play.

Kurowski led UMBC with 17 points and was named the team's America East Player of the Game.

The Great Danes (14-9, 8-2 America East) came out of the gate on fire, taking a seven-point led twice in the opening half.  Lindsey Lowrie hit four three's in the first half and would finish with a game-high 18 points.

UMBC, however, came back before the end of the half, cutting the lead to just one at the break, after sophomore Raven Gerald (Piscataway, N.J./Piscataway) and junior Raven Harris (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne/American) hit back-to-back three point baskets in the final 40 seconds of the period.

The Retrievers came out inspired in the second half and took their first lead of the game, 29-28, on a lay-up by senior Erin Brown (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman). 

The two teams then battled shot for shot, until UMBC went on a 6-0 run to take a 43-36 lead after two more free throws from Kurowski.  The Retrievers built their lead to a game-high nine points, 58-49, with 4:14 left after a leaner by junior Kristin Coles (Charles Town, W.Va./Notre Dame Academy/American).

The Great Danes then scrapped back into the game and cut the lead to just two, 58-56, at the 2:24 mark in the second period.  UMBC push back immediately, with Kurowski making her free throws, only for Albany to make one last successful comeback.

Topé Obajolu (Randallstown, Md./Archbishop Carroll) was the only other Retriever in double figures, as the senior scored 12 points.

UMBC continues America East play on Saturday when the Retrievers host Maine.  Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the RAC.  The women's game will be followed by the men also taking on the Black Bears as part of a doubleheader to celebrate the UMBC Hall of Fame Induction ceremony.

Game Notes

-           Michelle Kurowski has now scored in double figures in each of the last games for UMBC.

-          Kurowski is now tied with Tammy McCarthy for most free throws made (369) in a career at UMBC.

-          With her four steals in the game, Kurowski is now sixth on UMBC's all-time list for career steals.