BALTIMORE – UMBC women's basketball returns to action after a nine-day hiatus when the Retrievers travel to Rider to take on the Broncs in the first game of a double-header on Thursday, Dec. 18 at 5 p.m., inside Alumni Gymnasium. All the live action can be found at UMBCRetrievers.com.
Scouting the Retrievers (4-4, 0-0 AEC):
-After starting the season 3-0 for the first time since the 1989-90 season, UMBC has dropped four of its last five games coming into Thursday's contest. The Retrievers dropped their latest contest, 85-41, to Bucknell prior to breaking for finals week. UMBC shot season-lows of 23.9 percent from the field and 5.9 percent from beyond the arc in the setback.
-Junior guard Capree Garner has registered double-digit points in each of the first eight games of the season, including a team-best 18 points against the Bison, to go with six rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Garner paces the squad and the America East conference in scoring at 19.3 points per game, ranking 36th in Division I.
-Sophomore forward Amanda Hagaman is shooting a team-best 50.9 percent from the floor, eighth in the America East, for 10.0 points per game. Hagaman is pulling down a team-best 6.9 rebounds per game, ninth in the league, including 22 boards off the offensive glass.
-Sophomore Taylor McCarley has tried to shake off some early shooting troubles, by getting to the free throw line. The second-year guard is tied with Hagaman for a team-high 40 free-throw attempts and has knocked down a team-best 75 percent from the charity stripe.
Scouting the Broncs (2-7, 0-2 MAAC):
-Rider has dropped three straight coming into Thursday's matchup, including a pair of Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) games. The Broncs are coming off an 85-51 loss to Penn State on Sunday. Freshman forward Jessie Wallace registered a season-best 11 points off the bench in the loss.
-Newcomer Robin Perkins pilots the team's offense at 11.8 points per game. Sophomore center Julia Duggan is shooting a team-best 48.5 percent from the floor, adding 8.9 points and a team-high 8.4 rebounds per game.
-Rider returned nine letterwinners and three starters from last year's squad that posted a 15-17 overall mark and finished sixth in the MAAC.
Retriever Quick Hits
-Junior guard Capree Garner is tied for first in the America East with Albany's Shereesha Richards, each tallying four 20-point performances on the season. Garner has registered a team-high 135 shots on the season, more than double the next closest player (Pandora Wilson 56). Garner is shooting 44.4 percent for the year, 13th in the league, with only sophomore forward Amanda Hagaman and senior center Dana Lewis holding better percentages, at 50.9 percent and 47.8 percent, respectively.
-Seven of the Retrievers' eight contests have been decided by 10-plus points, with the only exception being UMBC's five-point setback against Towson.
-The Retrievers rank second in the America East in scoring offense at 66.8 points per game, up from the team's 50.9 points per game average a season ago. UMBC's magic number seems to be 70, as the Dawgs have posted a 4-0 mark when scoring 70-or-more points.
-UMBC's defense leads the America East in three categories, field goal percentage defense (.374), blocked shots (3.6 per game) and steals (10.5 per game). The Retrievers also rank second in the league in turnover margin (+2.2), trailing only first-place Maine (+3.2).
-Head coach Phil Stern is five victories shy of holding the UMBC women's basketball record for most wins, a mark that Sue Furnary set from 1980-1993.
-Junior guard Liz McNaughton connected on a career-best four three-pointers before fouling out against Columbia. McNaughton finished with a career-best 14 points for her first double-digit scoring performance of the season.
On the Horizon for the Retrievers
-The Retrievers travel to UMES on Monday, Dec. 22 before taking a break for the Christmas holiday. UMBC concludes its seven-game road swing with a pair of contests in Philadelphia, starting with a matchup at Pennsylvania on Dec. 29, followed by a meeting at La Salle on Dec. 30.
Inside the Series
-Despite dropping last season's contest, 60-48, the Retrievers own a 6-3 advantage in the all-time series against the Broncs. UMBC had won three straight coming into the matchup.
-Each of the last two matchups between UMBC and Rider have come on neutral grounds, the first in the Virginia Marriott Cavalier Classic on Dec. 29, 2008, and last season at the Navy Classic on Nov. 29, 2013.
Last Season's Headline
-UMBC women's basketball's freshman forward Sara Tarbert notched her second collegiate double-double, pouring in 14 points to go with 10 rebounds, but the Retrievers were unable to hold off Rider as the black and gold turned the ball over 21 times in the contest and sent the Broncs to the charity stripe 17 times in the second period en route to a 60-48 loss in game one of the Navy Classic at Alumni Hall.