BALTIMORE – UMBC women's basketball returns home for back-to-back America East contests, starting with its 10th annual Midday Madness game against Albany on Thursday, Jan. 22. Tip-off is set for noon at the RAC Arena, with all the live action available at UMBCRetrievers.tv.
Midday Madness is an annual event at UMBC that welcomes local elementary and middle school students to campus. UMBC drew a program-record crowd of 3,098 fans for its ninth annual Midday Madness against New Hampshire last season. The crowd topped the 2012-13 season's event that brought 2,905 fans to the RAC Arena to watch the Retrievers' nationally-televised 70-59 victory against Stony Brook. UMBC is 4-5 all-time during its Midday Madness games at the RAC arena, which started in 2006, and has since averaged 2,009 fans.
RAC Arena Promotion:
-Midday Madness! Come cheer on your Retrievers in this midday action. Special appearance by the Wizards Dunk Team at halftime!
Scouting the Retrievers (6-12, 1-4 AE):
-After playing 11 of its last 13 games on the road, UMBC returns home to the RAC Arena for back-to-back games for the first time since November. The Retrievers snapped a six-game skid with a 68-61 victory against Vermont on Saturday and followed with a tough battle at Hartford on Monday. Junior guards Liz McNaughton and Capree Garner combined to hit seven of 13 shots from beyond the arc to help the Retrievers eliminate a 15-point second-half deficit to the Hawks and come within three, but UMBC fell short, 70-63, at Hartford.
-Garner paces the squad and ranks second in the league at 18.1 points per game. The junior guard is adding 4.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals. Taylor McCarley is getting to the free throw line a team-best 5.7 times per game, helping the sophomore guard to record 8.7 points per contest. McCarley leads the team with 4.3 helpers and is chipping in 1.8 takeaways a game.
-UMBC is shooting 38 percent from the field for the season, but the Retrievers have a pair of post players that have knocked down shots at a high percentage. Sophomore forward Amanda Hagaman is shooting 53.3 percent from the field, while senior center Dana Lewis is hitting 49.3 percent of her shots. The duo is averaging 8.1 points and 4.6 points per game, respectively.
Scouting the Great Danes (12-6, 5-0 AE):
-After dropping three of its last five games in the non-conference season, Albany has won five straight to start its America East schedule. The Great Danes are coming off a 69-59 victory against Stony Brook on Monday. Junior guard Shereesha Richards registered double-digit points for the 18th straight game, tallying 21 points and seven rebounds, while sophomore guards Zakiya Saunders and Imain Tate each added 14 points.
-Richards and Tate are both averaging in double-figure points for the Great Danes and have combined to shoot 54.3 percent from the field, with Richards pacing the league at 19.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Tate is adding 13.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
-Albany, the defending league champions, was an unanimous pick to finish first in the America East annual preseason coaches' poll, receiving eight first-place votes and 64 points overall.
Retriever Quick Hits
-UMBC head coach Phil Stern earned his 150th victory as head coach of the Retrievers with Saturday's 68-61 win at Vermont. Stern is three wins away from becoming the program's all-time wins leader.
-Over the last two games, the Retrievers turned over their opponents 53 times, however, UMBC was only able to capitalize those turnovers into 29 points. On the season, UMBC is turning its opponents over 19.8 times per game for a +3.7 turnover margin.
-Junior guard Liz McNaughton is shooting 44.8 percent from three-point range since conference play began for 9.8 points per game.
On the Horizon for the Retrievers
-UMBC continues home action on Sunday, Jan. 25 when the Retrievers host Maine at 1 p.m. at the RAC Arena.
Inside the Series
-Albany holds a 14-9 lead in the all-time series, but the Retrievers have the 6-5 edge in meetings at the RAC Arena. The Great Danes have won the last seven meetings, while UMBC had won four straight from the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
Last Season's Headlines
-UMBC's Amanda Hagaman reached double-digit points for the second straight game and scored a season-best 11 points, but the Retrievers turned the ball over 23 times and allowed 19 offensive rebounds against defending league champion Albany en route to a 65-39 loss at SEFCU Arena.
-UMBC's Sara Tarbert scored 23 points as the Retrievers gave Albany all is could handle, but a 14-2 second-half run lifted the Great Danes past the black and gold, 56-46, at the RAC Arena.