VESTAL, N.Y. – UMBC women's basketball was unable to overcome shooting 16 percent in the opening half of Sunday evening's America East semifinal matchup against No. 2 Albany as the Retrievers fell to the Great Danes, 66-37, at the Events Center. The Retrievers were led by 11 points from junior guard Liz McNaughton (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax).
The Retrievers fall in their first semifinal appearance since the 2012 season and end their season with a 12-19 overall record. Junior guard Capree Garner (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook) tallied five points and finished her first campaign with the Retrievers by becoming the fourth player in program history to reach 500 points, registering 513 points on the season to rank fourth on UMBC's single season scoring list. Sophomore guard Taylor McCarley (Bowie, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) ends the year tied for fourth on the Retrievers' single season assists list (140). McCarley finished the night with eight points, three assists and two steals. Sophomore forward Pandora Wilson (Gaithersburg, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) chipped in eight points.
The Retrievers played the Great Danes tough in the second half, with Albany outscoring UMBC, 29-28, in the period, but the Dawgs connected for just four field goals in the first half and shot 23.4 percent for the game en route to Albany (23-8) advancing to the title game. The Great Danes were led by 20 points and 15 rebounds from junior forward Shereesha Richards. Senior guard Sarah Royals chipped in 15 points and five assists.
Albany senior guard Margarita Rosario knocked down her first two shots from beyond the arc for the first six points of the game en route to 13 unanswered points from the Great Danes. The Retrievers missed their first 13 shots of the contest, including five from long range.
The Retrievers could not find a hot shooter in the half, knocking down just four of 25 shots (16 percent) and turned the ball over 13 times. UMBC's defense held the Great Danes to 38.7 percent shooting from the field in the half, but the Retrievers' foul trouble helped Albany add 11 of 16 shots from the charity stripe to take a 37-9 lead into the break.
Albany took advantage of UMBC's early turnovers to start the second half, turning four giveaways into seven points, but the Retrievers picked up their play in the second half, scoring eight unanswered with 14:11 to go in the contest to outscore the Great Danes 14-9 to that point.
Albany continued to get to the free throw line throughout the contest, making 33 trips to the charity stripe, compared to 14 for the Retrievers. UMBC hit four-of-nine shots from three-point range in the second half, but still shot just 31.8 percent from the field in the period.
The Great Danes turned UMBC's 22 turnovers into 22 points in the contest, while also adding nine second chance points.
-UMBC head coach Phil Stern earned his 250th career win in the semifinal game against the Seawolves on Saturday.
-Senior center Dana Lewis played in her final game with the program, having appeared in 102 games with the Retrievers.