BALTIMORE – UMBC women's basketball's sophomore guard Emily Russo (Woodbine, Glenelg) registered a career-high 14 points, while junior guard Capree Garner (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook) totaled a game-high 23 points, but it was not enough to overcome a big second half for Robert Morris as the Retrievers suffered their first loss of the season, 84-60, in Sunday afternoon's non-conference matchup at the RAC Arena.
The Retrievers were able to overcome the Colonials' first-half run, but were unable to withstand RMU's second-half charge that was triggered with Robert Morris (1-2) shooting 50 percent from the field, including 81.8 percent from beyond the arc. UMBC shot its lowest percentage from the field in this young season at 34.5 percent to fall to 3-1 on the year.
The Retrievers were able to take advantage of the Colonials' early struggles on the offensive end, but a 13-2 run gave Robert Morris a 21-14 advantage with 8:54 to go in the opening period. Freshman forward Megan Smith scored nine of her 13 first-half points during the span, all nine coming from beyond the arc.
UMBC was held without a field goal for 7:21 before Russo snapped the slump to bring the Retrievers back within three, 21-17. The Retrievers were able to trim the gap to as little as one, 24-23, with 3:19 to go in the half, but the Colonials responded with eight straight points. UMBC, who held a plus-12 rebounding margin entering the game, surrendered 14 offensive rebounds in the opening 20 minutes of play, with RMU converting them into 11 second chance points, helping the Colonials to a six-point advantage at the break, 34-28.
The Retrievers exploded out of the break, scoring the first six points of the second half to knot the game at 34 apiece 1:18 in, however, UMBC's offense was unable to keep it up, allowing the Colonials to go on another run, this time a 14-3 spurt to take a 48-37 lead.
The Retrievers' offensive struggles continued throughout the second half, shooting 36.4 percent from the field, while Robert Morris knocked down nine of its 12 threes to add to its cushion.
Robert Morris shot 41.8 percent for the game and held a 51-33 advantage in rebounds, 20 of which were offensive boards. The Colonials finished with four double-digit scorers led by Smith's 19 points. Sophomore guard Anna Niki Stamolamprou chipped in 18 points and seven rebounds, while junior guard Ashley Ravelli added 13 of her 17 points in the second half.
On the Horizon for the Retrievers
-UMBC concludes its five-game home stretch on Tuesday, Nov. 25, as part of a UMBC basketball doubleheader at the RAC Arena. The women's team opens up action against Towson with a 5 p.m. tip-off, followed by the men's team taking on Howard at 7:30 p.m.
-Robert Morris takes a 7-6 advantage in the all-time series.
-The Retrievers had averaged 19.0 assists per game coming into the contest, but dished out just seven helpers on the afternoon.
-Sophomore Amanda Hagaman matched a career-high with nine rebounds, but missed out on double-digit points for the first time this season.
-Sophomore guard Capree Garner reached double-digit points for the fourth time this season and recorded her second 20-point performance of the season.
-Sophomore guard Emily Russo was named America East Player of the Game after resetting her career-high with 14 points.