BALTIMORE – UMBC women's basketball's junior guard Capree Garner (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook) drilled a three-pointer with 56 seconds to go in the contest to trim what was a 12-point deficit to one point, 54-53, but a costly turnover in the final 33 seconds helped local-rival Towson hang on for a 59-54 victory in Tuesday night's non-conference matchup at the RAC Arena.
The Retrievers trailed by 12 points, 53-41, with 2:28 to go in the contest, but a 10-1 run triggered by Garner and sophomore forward Amanda Hagaman (Manasquan, N.J./Manasquan) brought UMBC within one. Towson turned the ball over for the fourth time in the final 2:15 to give the Retrievers a chance at their first lead since the 17:00 mark of the first half, but UMBC was unable to execute down the stretch, turning the ball over with 33 seconds left and missing opportunities on their next two possessions to allow the Tigers to hang on for the win.
Garner finished with a game-high 20 points, marking her second straight 20-point performance and her third of this young season, to go with five offensive rebounds. Hagaman chipped in 13 points and added a team-best eight rebounds. UMBC falls for the second straight game, dropping to 3-2 on the season, while Towson earns its second victory of the year to improve to 2-2.
The Retrievers' shooting struggles continued as UMBC knocked down just six field goals in the opening period, three of which came from sophomore center Pandora Wilson (Gaithersburg, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) in her first collegiate start. The Retrievers hit just two of their first 20 shots in the opening half, allowing the Tigers to generate a 13-point advantage, 18-5, with 8:39 to go in the stanza. Red-shirt senior forward LaTorri Hines-Allen scored seven of her eight first-half points for the Tigers during the span.
Towson would lead by as many as 19 in the opening half, 28-9, but the Retrievers connected on three of their last five shots in the half to close out the period on an 8-1 run and trail by 12 at the break, 29-17. The Dawgs concluded the half shooting just 22.2 percent from the field, while the Tigers took advantage of turnovers and offensive rebounds, with 20 of their 29 points coming off turnovers and second-chance opportunities.
The Retrievers hit three of their first six to open the second half and come within single-digits of Towson, 34-25, but UMBC would connect on just one of their next eight. It was UMBC's defense and its ability to get to the free throw line that helped cut into the deficit. The Retrievers' defense held the Tigers without a basket for a 5:24 span, helping UMBC to an 8-0 run that trimmed it to a five-point game, 40-35, with 9:52 to go.
Garner and Hagaman helped the Retrievers to stay within striking distance throughout the half, scoring 26 of her 33 points in the period, but UMBC struggled from the free throw line, hitting 11 of 21 from the charity stripe in the stanza.
Garner hit one of her four three-pointers to open up the Retrievers' final run. Sophomore guard Taylor McCarley (Bowie, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) was the bright spot from the free throw line for the Retrievers, knocking down two of her six made free throws with 2:07 to go to trim the deficit to seven, 53-46. Hagaman followed with back-to-back layups and Garner capped things off with her fourth trey of the evening.
The Retrievers' defense forced Towson into its 10th turnover of the second half with 51 seconds to go to gain possession. UMBC got a good look at the basket to take the lead, but was unable to convert. The Retrievers picked up one of their 20 offensive rebounds, but a turnover with 33 seconds to go gave the momentum back to the Tigers. Towson hit five-of-six free throws down the stretch to hold off the Retrievers' charge.
Hines-Allen finished with her third double-double of the season for the Tigers, registering 18 points and 18 rebounds. Senior guard Ciara Webb chipped in 10 points and six rebounds, while freshman guard Breonn Hughey dished out a game-high seven assists.
-Sophomore center Pandora Wilson saw her first collegiate start in the game and finished with nine points and six rebounds.
-Junior guard Capree Garner extended her double-digit scoring streak to five games, with a team-high 20 points, to earn America East Player of the Game.