Baltimore, Md.—UMBC women's basketball got 11 points from Te'yJah Oliver (Clinton, Md./Riverdale Baptist) and ten points from Laura Castaldo (West Nyack, N.Y./Clarkstown South), but they could not complete the comeback in a 61-48 loss to American on Wednesday.
UMBC falls to 1-7 while the Eagles improve to 4-3 on the year.
Both teams struggled out of the gates, as neither side could find a handle on the ball. American pushed in front thanks to a mini 4-0 run late, but a Janee'a Summers (Bound Brook, N.J./Bound Brook) and one cut the deficit to just one with a minute left in the quarter. The Eagles got a three pointer at the buzzer to take an 11-7 lead after one.
The Eagles would use that three to spark a 9-0 run early in the second. Sophomore Lucrezia Costa (Rome, Italy) came off the bench and sparked the Retrievers, scoring three points late to cut into the Eagle lead. Oliver cut the deficit to just six at the break after a trifecta of her own to make it 25-19 at the break.
Costa paced the Retrievers in the first half with seven points on 3-5 shooting. American kept their distance thanks to seven offensive rebounds, scoring 12 points in the paint.
American came out the locker rooms firing, rattling off nine quick points to take their largest lead of the game at 34-19 just minutes into the third. Senior Lakiah Sims (Riverdale, Ga./Charles Drew/Palm Beach State) gave the Retrievers life off the bench in the third.
Sims scored four straight, including a beautiful fadeaway jumper to cut the deficit to 11. She then stole the ball on the very next possession that led to a Castaldo layup on the other end.
UMBC continued to catch fire as Castaldo and Oliver nailed back-to-back three's in the early going of the fourth to cut it to five, forcing an American timeout. However, the Eagles responded, increasing their lead to as many as 17 in the period to take a 61-48 victory on Wednesday.
Oliver led all scorers with 11 points, adding three rebounds in the loss. Castaldo poured in ten points with three rebounds and four assists.
Maria Liddane, Kaitlyn Lewis, and TaeKenya Cleveland each had 11 in the win.
UMBC continues their three-game home stand against Columbia on Sunday, Dec. 3. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. on ESPN 3 with Troy Green, Raven Harris and Pandora Wilson on the call.