BALTIMORE – UMBC women's basketball used three double-digit scorers and a combined 36 points off its bench on Senior Day to defeat Binghamton in the regular-season finale, 73-50, in America East action on Sunday at the RAC Arena.
The Retrievers held Binghamton (4-25, 2-14 AE) to 25 percent shooting from the field in the first half to build up a nine-point cushion at the break, but a 20-3 run in the second half proved to be the difference as UMBC coasted to victory. The Retrievers shot 55.2 percent in the second half, with 22 of its 40 points coming from the paint for the period.
UMBC (11-18, 6-10 AE) was led by 14 points apiece from sophomore guard Taylor McCarley (Bowie, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) and freshman guard Laura Castaldo (West Nyack, N.Y./Clarkstown South). McCarley chipped in six rebounds and six assists, while Castaldo added four rebounds, two steals and two assists. Sophomore forward Pandora Wilson (Gaithersburg, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) continued her tough play, pouring in 11 points and corralling a season-best nine rebounds.
Both teams struggled to get their offense going early, but the Retrievers created some separation, scoring nine unanswered points to take a 14-5 lead seven minutes into the contest.
UMBC extended its advantage to 12, its largest lead of the period, following Castaldo's third three-pointer of the half with 9:06 remaining. The Retrievers' reserves accounted for 18 points in the opening half to help UMBC take a 33-24 lead into the break.
Binghamton cut the deficit to six on a Gintare Surdokaite three in the opening two minutes of the second half, but the Retrievers were quickly able to extend the advantage back to double-digits behind a pair of layups from McCarley and classmate Emily Russo (Woodbine, Md./Glenelg).
The Bearcats did not go quietly, cutting the deficit to one, 42-41, with 11:48 to play on a 12-2 run, but the Retrievers had plenty left in the tank, exploding for nine unanswered points as part of the 20-3 run. UMBC had six players get in on the scoring action to knock down nine of its 11 attempts during the spurt. The Retrievers continued to add onto their lead down the stretch to mark their first 20-point victory against a Division I program since Feb. 4, 2012.
The Retrievers' defense played tough throughout the game, holding Binghamton to 28.6 percent shooting for the game and turning the Bearcats' 17 turnovers into 20 points. UMBC gave the ball away nine times on the day, its second lowest total of the season.
The Bearcats were led offensively by Surdokaite's 15 points and six rebounds. Freshman Imani Watkins added 14 points, six rebounds and three assists, while senior Sherae Swinson battled foul trouble to pull down 10 rebounds and add nine points.
On the Horizon for the Retrievers
-No. 6 UMBC travels to the America East Championships and will take on No. 3 Stony Brook on Saturday, March 7. Tip-off is set for 8:15 p.m. at the Events Center on the campus of Binghamton.