BALTIMORE – UMBC women's basketball closes out 2014 with a pair of games in Philadelphia with trips to Pennsylvania and La Salle. The Retrievers take on Penn on Monday, Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. at The Palestra, and conclude their seven-game road trip in the year's finale versus the Explorers on Tuesday. Dec. 30 at 2 p.m. inside Tom Gola Arena. Follow the live action on UMBCRetrievers.com.
Scouting the Retrievers (5-5):
-UMBC improved to an even 5-5 on the season with an 87-78 victory at UMES prior to the Christmas break. The Retrievers shot 50 percent from the floor and received career-bests from sophomore guard Taylor McCarley and junior guard Liz McNaughton.
-McCarley's career-day versus the Lady Hawks included collegiate-bests of 19 points and six steals, while also adding a season-best seven assists and five rebounds. McNaughton knocked down four of the Retrievers' six treys for a career-best 18 points.
-The Retrievers are leading the America East in steals (10.4 spg) and turnover margin (+3.4). Junior guard Capree Garner paces the league in scoring at 19.0 points per game, having scored in double-digit points in each of her first 10 games with the Retrievers and adding four 20-point performances. Sophomore guard Emily Russo sits atop of the conference in steals (2.5 spg), having registered three or more steals in eight of 10 games.
-Sophomore forward Amanda Hagaman has controlled the glass for the Retrievers, pulling down 25 offensive rebounds and averaging 6.2 rebounds per game, ranking 15th in the America East.
Scouting the Quakers (4-4):
-Penn dropped three of its last four games prior to the Christmas break, including a 67-58 loss to Drexel in its latest contest. Senior guard Kathleen Roche connected on five of seven shots from behind the arc in the contest to finish with a team-best 17 points, while senior forward Kara Bonenberger added 10 points before fouling out.
-The Quakers have had six different players lead the team in scoring on the season, with sophomore center Sydney Stipanovich representing the only player to lead the squad in points in multiple games. Stipanovich paces the team at 9.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per contest. Roche is hitting 48.4 percent of her attempts from long range for 8.3 points per game.
Scouting the Explorers (7-4):
-La Salle snapped a two-game skid with a victory at Georgia State, 76-68, as part of the Holiday & Hoops Classic, prior to the Christmas break. Sophomore forward Micahya Owens and freshman guard/forward Amy Griffin each produced 20-point games in the classic to earn spots on the All-Tournament Team.
-The Explorers are a perfect 3-0 on their home court in 2014 as they host Fairfield and the Retrievers at Tom Gola Arena prior to the break. La Salle is averaging 62.5 points per game on the season, led by 14.1 points per game from Owens. Despite missing three games, red-shirt senior guard Alicia Cooper is the second Explorer in double-digits at 12.3 points per contest, while also chipping in 4.3 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Jasmine Alston is adding in team-highs in rebounds (4.7 rpg), assists (3.6 apg) and steals (2.9 spg).
On the Horizon for the Retrievers
-UMBC returns home to start the New Year, hosting local-rival Morgan State on Jan. 1 at 7 p.m. inside the RAC Arena. The Retrievers open America East action on Jan. 8 at UMass Lowell.
Inside the Series
-UMBC travels to Penn for the first time in the all-time series. The previous two meetings have come during tournaments at UMBC, with the Quakers winning both meetings. The two squads are meeting for the first time since Nov. 22, 2003.
-The Retrievers travel to La Salle for the first time since Dec. 28, 1995 for the third all-time meeting between the two squads. The Explorers have won both all-time meetings.