Lowell, Mass.— UMBC women's basketball dominated from start to finish in a 78-62 win against UMass Lowell on Saturday. The Retrievers got a career day from junior Laura Castaldo (West Nyack, N.Y./Clarkstown South) with 24 points and 11 rebounds for her first career double double.
UMBC improves to 15-12, 10-4 AE, while UMass Lowell falls to 3-25, 0-15 AE. UMBC wins their sixth straight, tying their second longest streak in program history set last season. The Retrievers also win their tenth game in their last 11.
Castaldo led the way with 24 points on 10-17 shooting, adding 11 rebounds in the victory. Te'yJah Oliver (Clinton, Md./Riverdale Baptist) and Taylor McCarley (Bowie, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) each had 11 in the contest.
Nicole Hayner led the River Hawks with 27 points, going 7-15 from three.
UMass Lowell came out of the gates early, but the Retrievers used a big 13-0 run in midway through the first to give them a 22-12 lead fueled by Laura Castaldo. Castaldo had eight points on the run.
The junior would not end there, as she pushed the Retriever advantage to 16 after she hit a layup in the post to make it 31-15 after one, as the Retrievers outscored the River Hawks 12-3 in the final three minutes.
UMBC would go on another big spurt early in the second, to take an 18 points lead early on. However UML would rally and cut into the Retriever lead.
UMass Lowell went on a run to cut the lead to single digits, but a Te'yJah Oliver driving layup pushed the lead to ten late. Taylor McCarley would block a three attempt at the horn to give UMBC a 39-29 advantage heading into the break.
Castaldo led all scorers with 14 points in the opening 20 minutes, adding seven rebounds on 6-9 shooting. The Retrievers shot 44 percent from the floor and 45 percent (5-11) from three.
The New York native would continue where she left off in the third, as she helped spark a 9-0 run that gave UMBC the lead for good with four points. The run was capped by an Oliver steal and McCarley layup to push ahead 63-40.
The Retrievers would continue to pressure the River Hawks in the fourth, earning a 78-62 win on Saturday.
UMBC shot 44 percent from the field, including 42 points in the paint, forcing 16 River Hawk turnovers. UMBC would score 20 points off those turnovers.
UMBC will hit the road for their final road contest of the regular season at Stony Brook on Thursday, Feb. 23. Tip-off with the Seawolves is set for 7 p.m. on ESPN 3.