After finishing non-conference play with a 73-63 win over local rival Coppin State, the UMBC women's basketball team will begin its 14th season in the America East with a trip to Vestal, N.Y. to face the Binghamton Bearcats. The Wednesday, Jan. 4 tilt is scheduled to tip-off at 7 p.m. on ESPN3.
Scouting the Retrievers:
-UMBC finished its non-conference slate with a 5-8 record after picking up a New Year's Eve win over Coppin State. In the 73-63 victory, the freshman class accounted for 50 points, including a career-high 19 from Te'yJah Oliver and an 11-point performance from Lucrezia Costa.
-Freshman Tyler Moore chipped in 17 points in the victory after going 4-9 from long distance. Moore has now produced double-digit outputs in six of eight games and has made at least four treys in five of the last six contests. After averaging 13.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.7 steals per game during the week, Moore was named America East Rookie of the Week for the second week in a row.
-Overall on the season, the Retrievers are averaging 57.2 ppg and 33.3 rpg. The team is also averaging 7.2 steals per game, which ranks fifth among America East teams. The Black and Gold also hold top five spots in free throw percentage (71.2, second) and three-point field goal percentage (35.3, third).
-Moore and junior Laura Castaldo rank in the top 20 among conference players in scoring, averaging 11.2 and 10.3 ppg, respectively. Moore also ranks fourth in three-point FG percentage (42.3), while Castaldo is sixth in free throw percentage at 82.4 percent. Junior Lakiah Sims sits at number four in rebounding, averaging 6.5 caroms per game and fifth in field goal percentage (48.6).
Scouting the Bearcats:
-Binghamton enters the first contest of conference play with a 5-8 record after dropping a close battle to Cornell, 54-51, on January 1. Junior Imani Watkins led the Bearcats with 13 points, marking her 15th consecutive double figure game, dating back to last season.
-Cornell and Binghamton tied the game up three times in the first five minutes of the final quarter before Cornell used a 6-0 run to lead, 50-44, with less than three minutes to go. Watkins drained a trey with 1:15 on the clock to pull the Bearcats within reach, 54-51, but they were unable to get another score.
-Watkins, a preseason America East All-Conference selection, paces the Bearcats and the league with 19.9 ppg and ranks sixth in assists with 3.5 helpers per game. Overall, Binghamton is averaging 64.2 ppg , which is second among America East teams, and 36.1 rpg. The Bearcats also average 9.5 takeaways per game, thanks in part to Watkins's 36 on the season.
Last Time They Met: Binghamton 49, UMBC 41
The Retrievers fought until the end, but fell, 49-41, to the Bearcats in the America East Tournament quarterfinals on March 5, 2016. Junior Pandora Wilson led the way with 19 for UMBC who fell to 17-13 on the year. The Retrievers and Bearcats changed leads 10 times during the outing, but it was Binghamton who held on in the final quarter for the victory. Wilson finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while classmate Taylor McCarley chipped in 13 and four assists. The Retrievers shot 35 percent from the field, while outrebounding the Bearcats, 44-34.
UMBC remains on the road as they travel to Orono, Maine to face the Maine Black Bears in America East action on Saturday, Jan. 7. Tip-off is scheduled for 12 p.m. on ESPN3.