No. 3 UMBC Women’s Basketball Heads to the America East Championships to Face No. 6 Hartford in the Quarterfinals

No. 3 UMBC Women’s Basketball Heads to the America East Championships to Face No. 6 Hartford in the Quarterfinals

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UMBC women's basketball will travel to Portland, Maine as the three seed in the 2017 America East Championships to face the sixth-seeded Hartford Hawks in the quarterfinals. The Retrievers and the Hawks will tip-off on Saturday, March 4 on ESPN3, at 8:15 p.m. or approximately 30 minutes following the conclusion of the third quarterfinal game.

The winner of the UMBC-Hartford game will take on the winner of the game between No. 2 Albany and No. 7 Vermont at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 5.

2017 America East Women's Basketball Championship Information

Where: Cross Insurance Center – Portland, Maine

Saturday and Sunday, March 4-5

How to Watch: All quarterfinal and semifinal games will be streamed on ESPN3.

Social Media: @UMBCwbb, @AmericaEast, #AETourney, #SheRules

Scouting the Retrievers (15-14, 10-6 AE)
-UMBC enters the America East Tournament as the No. 3, the team's highest ranking since the 2012-13 season.  The Retrievers ended the season with a 65-61 loss to New Hampshire on Feb. 26., in which UMBC climbed back to within one after being down as many as 15.

-Senior Taylor McCarley poured in a team high 19 points, while classmate Pandora Wilson and junior Laura Castaldo chipped in double figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively. Wilson also led the team in rebounds, grabbing seven boards.

-UMBC ranks third in free throw percentage (71.8) and 3-point field goal percentage (32.6), and fifth in defensive rebounds (25.0 per game) in America East. McCarley is fourth in scoring among America East players, averaging 13.9 points per game, and also ranks in the top five in free throw percentage (fifth, 80.8), assists (third, 4.7), and steals (first, 2.3). Castaldo and freshman Tyler Moore rank third and fourth, respectively, in 3-point field goal percentage, hitting 38.1 and 35.9 percent of their shots from long distance. 

Scouting the Hawks (16-13, 7-9 AE)
-First year head coach Kim McNeill leads Hartford to Portland as the No. 6 seed after they finished the season with a 58-52 loss to Albany on Feb. 26. Lindsey Abed and Deanna Mayza led the Hawks with 13 and 11 points, respectively, in a close game with the Great Danes.

-Mayza leads the Hawks offense as she averages 12.6 points per contest, while leading the conference with 4.9 assists per game. Abed ranks second in 3-point percentage, hitting 39.8 percent of her shots from beyond the arc, while Janelle Harrison is third in steals per game (2.1).

Last Time They Met: UMBC 64, Hartford 47
Freshman Allison McGrath (South Park, Pa.) poured in a career high 17 points on five three pointers, as UMBC women's basketball defeated Hartford, 64-47, on Feb. 9. The Retrievers held Hartford to just 15 made field goals in the win.

The Retrievers would use an 11-1 run to distance themselves from the Hawks in the second stanza, getting four points from Wilson on the run. McGrath stepped up big for the Retrievers at the end of the quarter, hitting back-to-back threes, including one at the horn to give UMBC a 33-20 lead at the half.

UMBC would continue the second half with strong defense, holding the Hawks to 2-of-10 shooting in the third, forcing five turnovers in the stanza.

Series History:
The two teams will be meeting for the 32nd time, with Hartford holding a 23-8 lead in the series. This season, the Retrievers and Hawks split the season series, each winning on the road. All but one of the meetings have come while the teams have been members of the America East; the Hawks and the Retrievers met back in 2002 at the St. Joseph's Tournament while UMBC was still a member of the Northeast Conference.

This will be the first time that UMBC and Hartford are meeting in the America East Tournament since 2011, where the Hawks defeated the Retrievers, 66-48, in the semifinals. UMBC's biggest tournament win came against Hartford in 2007, when the No. 7 Retrievers became the lowest seed to win in any America East Tournament in a 48-46 victory over the No. 1 Hawks.

UMBC in the AE Championships:
This will be UMBC's 14th appearance in the America East Tournament since the Retrievers joined the league in 2003-04. The team looks to make it back to the semifinals of the tournament for the time since 2015 and to the title game for the first time since 2012.

Head coach Phil Stern is 7-12 when coaching in America East Tournament games, but has the most tournament wins among active coaches.