BALTIMORE – UMBC women's basketball opens a three game homestand on Tuesday, Feb. 11 when it hosts defending league champion Albany. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. inside the RAC Arena, with all the live action available free of charge on UMBCRetriever.tv, courtesy of the America East digital network. Live action can also be heard on Q1370AM (www.q1370.com) with Paul Mittermeier and Dan Levin on the call.
SCOUTING THE RETRIEVERS (2-21, 1-10 AEC): UMBC has dropped ten in a row for the second time this season, with Saturday's 59-51 loss at UMass Lowell. The Retrievers led by as many as 17 points in the first half of the contest and held an advantage for over 33 minutes of action, but 25 turnovers, including 15 in the second half, helped to allow the River Hawks to mount the come-back which included a 16-2 run over the final 5:09. Freshman forward Sara Tarbert notched her fourth double-double of the season, finishing with 10 points and 12 rebounds, while freshman guard Taylor McCarley scored a team-best 13 points.
The Retrievers are third in the conference in scoring defense (59.1) during America East games, but rank in the bottom third in both field goal percentage (37.3) and turnover margin (-5.6). Over the last four games, UMBC has scored 43.2 points per game and turned the ball over 18.8 times per game, 7.2 more than its opponents.
Tarbert has registered a season-best seven straight double-digit scoring games, knocking down 46.9 percent of her shots and averaging 14.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. The rookie is leading all America East freshmen in scoring (13.0) and rebounding (7.0) and ranks fifth among all league players in both categories. McCarley has increased her scoring output since league play began, chipping in 10.2 points per game and adding 1.7 steals. Classmate Emily Russo snagged a season-best six steals versus UMass Lowell on Saturday. During league play, Russo ranks fifth in the league in steals (2.1) and sixth in assists (3.8).
SCOUTING THE GREAT DANES (21-3, 11-0 AEC): Albany remains unbeaten during league play and has extended its America East win streak to 34-straight regular-season games following Friday's 90-68 victory at Hartford. Senior guard Tammy Phillip led five Great Dane double-digit scorers with a career-high 19 points, while adding 13 rebounds to complete the double-double. Sophomore center Megan Craig also chipped in her fourth double-double of the year with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Albany ranks seventh in the nation in field goal percentage, shooting 47.7 percent, while holding opponents to a league-best 55.4 points per game (ranking ninth in Division I). UAlbany also ranks in the top-10 in the country in rebounding margin, pulling down 10.1 more rebounds per game than its opponents.
Sophomore forward Shereesha Richards leads the charge for the Great Danes, having won nine America East Player of the Week honors and already breaking Albany's single-season scoring record with over 500 points on the season. Richards has 12 double-doubles on the year and leads the league in scoring (21.5), rebounding (9.5) and field goal percentage (.629). Junior guard Sarah Royals and Craig are each averaging 12.0 points per game on the season, ranking in the top-10 in the league. Craig is shooting 58.9 percent from the field, a top-15 shooting percentage in the nation.
In her fourth season at the helm of Albany, Katie Abrahamson-Henderson returned one starter and seven letterwinners from last year's America East championship team that posted a 27-4 overall mark and a perfect 16-0 record in conference play. The Great Danes were picked as this year's unanimous No. 1 selection.
INSIDE THE SERIES: UMBC has dropped six in a row against Albany, including the 2012 America East Championship Game. The Retrievers trail in the all-time series 13-9. Prior to its six-game skid, UMBC had swept matchups during the 2010 and the 2011 America East seasons.
2014 FIRST MEETING: UMBC freshman forward Amanda Hagaman reached double-digit points for the second straight game and scored a season-best 11 points, but the Retrievers turned the ball over 23 times and allowed 19 offensive rebounds against defending league champion Albany en route to a 65-39 loss. The Retrievers held the Great Danes to their lowest point total in an America East game this season, but UMBC could not overcome its 15 first-half turnovers, which translated into 20 Albany points. Senior guard Tammy Phillip led three double-digit scorers for Albany, with a game-high 17 points, to go with nine rebounds, six steals and four assists.
ON THE HORIZON FOR THE RETRIEVERS: UMBC continues its three-game home swing on Saturday, Feb. 15 when it hosts Vermont at the RAC Arena.