BALTIMORE—Senior forward Erin Brown (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) scored 21 points and senior guard Michelle Kurowski (Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville) tallied 19 to lead the UMBC women's basketball team (5-4) to a 65-53 win over a red-hot George Mason squad (6-2) Thursday evening at the RAC Arena, snapping the Patriots' six-game winning streak.
The game saw eight ties and 22 lead changes, but the Retrievers pulled away with a 17-4 run over the final 4:51 of action. With UMBC trailing by two, Brown sparked the spurt with a 3-pointer that put the hosts on top for good, then put the nail in the coffin with her fifth triple of the game, which gave the Retrievers a nine-point lead, 60-51, with 1:08 to play. UMBC then sealed the win by hitting five of six free throws in the final 52 seconds.
The Patriots started the game hot, hitting seven of their first 11 attempts. But they cooled significantly after scoring eight straight points to take a 21-16 lead at the 9:28 mark, hitting just two of their last 14 shots of the half. The Retrievers, who had a 10-5 advantage to start the game, held George Mason without a field goal for the final 4:34 of the period and led, 29-28, at the break.
The lead changed hands six times in the first 3:20 of the second stanza, and while a jumper by Brown at the 16:40 mark ignited a 6-0 run that gave the Retrievers' their biggest advantage since the opening minutes, 39-34, with 14:47, the Patriots would still take the lead back twice more before UMBC could put the game away.
The America East Player of the Game, Brown topped the 20-point plateau for the second straight game and tied her career high with five 3-pointers in eight attempts. Kurowski recorded 19 points, eight rebounds and three steals, while junior Brittany Crowell (Brandywine, Md./Gwynn Park) had 12 points and a career-high nine boards and three steals.
George Mason forward Janaa Pickard led the Patriots with 17 points and eight rebounds, while guard Amber Easter contributed 14 points and eight boards.
The Retrievers return to action on Saturday, when they visit two-time defending MEAC champion Hampton at 6 p.m.
Notes: Kurowski moved into a tie with Angel Webb ('92) for third place all-time at UMBC with 1,390 career points, while Brown now ranks 14th with 1,058… With two blocks on the night, senior center Topé Obajolu (Randallstown, Md./Archbishop Carroll) moved past Monica Logan ('99) into sole possession of second place with 124.