WASHINGTON, D.C. – UMBC women's basketball's junior guard Capree Garner (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook) extended her double-digit scoring streak to six games, finishing with a team-high 14 points, but the Retrievers were unable to overcome American's hot second-half shooting, falling to the Eagles, 77-51, in Wednesday night's non-conference matchup at Bender Arena.
The Retrievers trailed by just one at the break, 29-28, but the Eagles came out in the second stanza and hit nine of their first 11 shots from the field, while UMBC hit one of its first 12. The Eagles (3-3) would go on to shoot 58.3 percent from the field in the half and knocked down 17-of-18 free throws to outscore UMBC, 48-23. The Retrievers (3-3) shot 27.6 percent in the second half and 30.5 percent for the game to drop their third straight contest.
Neither team shot exceptionally well in the opening half, each knocking down less than 34 percent of their shots. The Retrievers missed their first six field goal attempts and added four turnovers to allow host American to take an eight-point advantage, 9-1, 3:46 into the contest. Sophomore center Infiniti Alston (Baltimore, Md./Digital Harbor) knocked down the Retrievers' first field goal at the 14:49 mark, but AU sophomore forward Michelle Holmes helped to pace the Eagles, scoring seven of the team's first 12 points.
UMBC held American without a field goal for 5:33 and used points from six different players to eliminate its deficit, as a layup from Garner, the America East Player of the Game, knotted the score at 17 apiece with 9:26 to go in the first half. The Retrievers scored five of their six field goals from inside the paint during the span. Alston would give the Retrievers their first lead of the evening with a pair of free throws with 7:31 remaining.
The Retrievers held senior guard Jen Dumiak, the Eagles' points-leader coming into the contest, without a bucket until the final minute, but her bucket with 56 seconds to go in the opening period gave American the one-point edge at the break, 29-28.
The second half was all American, as the Eagles opened up the half on a 26-5 run to take a 55-33 advantage with 12:34 to play. The Retrievers turned the ball over just four times during the span but were able to connect on just one field goal in 12 attempts and three-of-seven from the charity stripe.
The Retrievers hit 51.9 percent of their free throws for the contest, while American connected on 29-of-31 attempts (93.5 percent).
Alston finished with nine points off the bench for UMBC, while the Eagles were led by Holmes' game-high 20 points. Dumiak added a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds and sophomore forward Lauren Crisler chipped in 16 points and six boards.
On the Horizon for the Retrievers
-The Retrievers hit the road for the entire month of December, playing seven straight games away from the RAC Arena. The stretch continues on Friday, Dec. 5, when the Retrievers take on Columbia.