BALTIMORE – UMBC women's basketball's sophomore forward Pandora Wilson (Gaithersburg, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) registered a career-best 16 points, but Maine used the momentum of Senior Night to defeat the Retrievers, 61-41, in America East action on Thursday night at the Cross Insurance Center.
UMBC was unable to get out of a first-half hole after shooting 26.1 percent and recording 13 points in the period. The Retrievers picked up their play in the second half, forcing the Black Bears into 11 turnovers and capitalizing for 15 points, but Maine shot 63.2 percent from the field in the stanza en route to the victory.
The Retrievers fall to 10-18 overall and 5-10 in league play to earn the No. 6 seed in the upcoming America East Championships, while Maine (22-6, 14-1 AE) clinched at least a share of the America East regular-season title with its 14th consecutive win and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.
Wilson hit eight of her 12 shots and pulled down a team-best five rebounds. UMBC sophomore guard Taylor McCarley (Bowie, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) chipped in eight points and six assists.
Maine jumped out to a 7-0 lead, scoring five points off the Retrievers' four turnovers, on top of UMBC missing its first six shots. The Retrievers scored on their next two possessions, but sophomore guard Sigi Koizar answered with a trey and junior Sophie Weckstrom added in a pair of free throws following another UMBC turnover.
The Retrievers started the game 0-5 from long range, while Maine drained four of its first eight from beyond the arc. Junior forward Liz Wood helped to extend the advantage, scoring 11 points in Maine's 13-3 run, that gave the Black Bears a 30-13 lead at the break. UMBC knocked down 26.1 percent of its shots and turned the ball over 13 times in the period, leading to 13 Maine points.
The Black Bears scored the first seven points of the second half, before the Retrievers responded with nine unanswered points, including seven from senior center Dana Lewis (Brodhead, Wis./Brodhead) and McCarley, to pull within 13 points, 37-24, with 15:57 to go. Maine's hot shooting held off the Retrievers and helped guide the Black Bears to victory.
Wilson hit five of her seven shots in the second half, while McCarley added all eight of her points in the period. UMBC shot 44 percent in the stanza, but were 0-6 from beyond the arc.
Wood and Koizar combined to hit 11-of-16 shots on the game for 29 points, 15 rebounds and nine rebounds.
On the Horizon for the Retrievers
-UMBC concludes the regular-season at home when it celebrates Senior Day on Sunday, March 1 versus Binghamton.