Baltimore, Md.— Trailing by as many as 13 in the second half, UMBC women's basketball chipped away and had a chance late, but could not complete the comeback in a heartbreaking 78-75 loss to Albany on Sunday. Redshirt senior Brittani Burgess (White Plains, Md./St. Mary's Ryken/VCU) recorded her first career double double with 14 points and a career high 12 rebounds.
UMBC falls to 2-17, 1-5 AE while the Great Danes win their sixth in a row to move to 17-3, 6-1 AE.
Senior Laura Castaldo (West Nyack, N.Y./Clarkstown South) led the way with 19 points, going 8-8 from the foul line. Burgess had 14 points and 11 rebounds with 7 assists in the loss. Freshman Kristen Teklits (New Fairfield, Conn./New Fairfield) added 12 points.
Jessica Fequiere led Albany with 15 points, as five Great Danes hit double figures.
Albany took the early lead at 12-6, holding UMBC scoreless and without a field goal for a five-minute stretch of the opening ten minutes. The Retrievers were one for their last eight before Lucrezia Costa (Rome, Italy) beat the buzzer with a bank shot three to cut the Great Dane lead to 14-12. The Retrievers held the Great Danes to just two points over the final 4:20 of the quarter.
UMBC opened the second getting a big and one from Laura Castaldo to cut the Albany lead to one. However, the Great Danes would go on a 9-0 run to push their lead to double digits. Castaldo struck again, ending the run with a backdoor layup that sparked a 6-0 spurt to cut it to seven.
The Great Danes would take a 36-29 lead into the break, as they scored 18 points in the paint and ten points off 13 Retriever turnovers. Castaldo led the Retrievers with ten points, going 3-6 from the floor and 4-4 from the foul line in the first half.
Both teams came out of the gates firing, Janee'a Summers (Bound Brook, N.J./Bound Brook) and Kristen Teklits came out draining back-to-back triples to cut the deficit to just one in the opening minute. The Retrievers started the third going 4-5 from the floor, but Albany ripped off a 7-0 run to push their lead back to nine.
After back-to-back Burgess layups cut the Great Dane lead to single digits, Albany scored had the answer with six straight points to lead 11 heading into the fourth.
Albany would keep the lead around ten for most of the fourth, till a Lakiah Sims (Riverdale, Ga./Charles Drew/Palm Beach State) three and Teklits free throws cut the deficit to four with under three to go.
Trailing by five, the Retrievers had the ball with under a minute to go, but could not get a shot off. Following a pair of Albany free throws, sophomore Allison McGrath (South Park, Pa./South Park) hit a three to cut it four. The sophomore would strike again, drilling yet another three after a pair of free throws to make it just a three-point game.
Albany would miss a pair at the line, giving UMBC a chance to tie it at on the last possession. However, the Retrievers could not get a shot off as Albany escaped with a 78-75 victory on Sunday.
UMBC hits the road for two games, starting with Binghamton on Wednesday, Jan. 24. Tip-off with the Bearcats is set for 7 p.m.