VESTAL, N.Y. – UMBC women's basketball's sophomore guard Taylor McCarley (Bowie, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) helped the No. 6 Retrievers stun No. 3 Stony Brook connecting on a bank shot with 3.2 seconds remaining to lift UMBC to a 49-47 victory in front of an ESPN3 audience in the America East Quarterfinals on Saturday night at the Events Center.
The Retrievers advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2012 and will look to be the first America East six seed to advance to the title game when UMBC battles No. 2 Albany at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 8 at the Events Center, live on ESPN3.
UMBC did not surrender its lead throughout the entire contest, but an offensive rebound and put back from SBU sophomore guard Kori Bayne-Walker with 12 seconds to go tied the contest at 47 apiece. McCarley, who had scored just one point in the first 39 minutes of the game, drove to the basket off an inbounds play and banked home her first bucket of the night to give the Retrievers the victory.
The Retrievers improve to 12-18 on the year and snap a five-game losing streak to the Seawolves (17-13). UMBC was led by 19 points and three steals from junior guard Capree Garner (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook). Sophomore forwards Pandora Wilson (Gaithersburg, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) and Amanda Hagaman (Manasquan, N.J./Manasquan) made big contributions off the bench, combining for 21 points and 11 rebounds. Bayne-Walker finished with 21 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Seawolves, while senior forward Jessica Ogunnorin chipped in 10 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.
UMBC jumped on the board first and did not surrender its lead throughout the opening half. The Retrievers took advantage of Stony Brook shooting 26.9 percent from the field in the period, by going on an 8-2 run to open up a seven point edge, 22-15, with 4:11 to go in the half. SBU wasted little time cutting the deficit, scoring six straight points to trim the Retriever lead to one, 22-21. Garner drained her 11th point of the half with less than a minute to go in the period to give UMBC a 24-21 cushion at the break.
The Retrievers turned the ball over 10 times in the opening 20 minutes of action, but shot 42.9 percent from the field.
Both teams were slow out of the gate in the second half, combining to hit three of 19 shots through the first six minutes. The Retrievers outscored the Seawolves, 8-2, to start the half to extend to their largest lead to that point, 32-23, with 13:12 remaining.
UMBC continued to hold off Stony Brook with production from its bench, but Bayne-Walker did everything she could to get the Seawolves back into the game, scoring six straight to pull Stony Brook within six, but All-Conference Second Team selection Garner helped the Retrievers to extend their lead back to 10 points, 45-35, with 5:45 to go.
Stony Brook was not ready to go quietly, pulling within three points after seven unanswered points from Bayne-Walker and junior forward Brittany Snow with 2:46 to play. UMBC junior guard Liz McNaughton (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax) hit two of three free throws to help push the lead back to five, but sophomore guard Christa Scognamiglio drilled her third three of the night to pull within SBU within two, 47-45. Garner looked to have given UMBC breathing room on the ensuing possession, but her bucket was nullified due to an offensive foul. Stony Brook did not connect on its three-point try with 27 seconds to go, but the offensive rebound from Bayne-Walker kept the possession alive for the Seawolves, which helped lead to two of Stony Brook's 17 second-chance points and tie the game at 47 apiece with 12 seconds to go.
The Retrievers shot 40.4 percent for the game, while the Seawolves hit 28.6 percent of its shots. SBU pulled down 15 offensive rebounds on the night.
-UMBC improves to 4-0 in conference tournament games held at the Events Center. The Retrievers are 7-10 in America East Tournament games.
-UMBC's 2007 run through the America East Championships started with a 67-64 up-set victory against No. 2 Stony Brook.
-The Retrievers improve to 3-1 versus Stony Brook in conference tournament play.
-Sophomore Pandora Wilson has double-digit points in each of the last three games.
-Junior guard Capree Garner had scored eight points in her last two games combined. Garner has double-digit points in 26 games on the year.