Burlington, Vt.-- UMBC women's basketball were down by as many as 22 on Saturday before a furious second half rally that came up just short in a 58-50 loss to Vermont on Saturday. The Retrievers outscored the Catamounts 38-26 in the second half, led by 19 second half points from Te'yJah Oliver (Clinton, Md./Riverdale Baptist).
The loss drops UMBC to 8-18, 1-12 AE on the year while Vermont improves to 11-15, 7-7 AE.
UMBC kept it close throughout much of the first quarter with Te'yJah Oliver getting to the rim and hitting the layup to cut the deficit to just three. However, the Catamounts would rip off a 9-2 run to force a UMBC timeout up 13-4 midway through. That would turn into a 12-0 run over the last 6:52 of the quarter, as UMBC was held without a point trailing 19-4 after the first.
Freshman Kayla Jackson (Rochester, N.Y.) ended the scoring drought early in the second quarter with a tough layup in the post. O'lesheya Braxton (Paterson, N.J.) followed that up with a lay in to spark a quick 4-0 run. The run would be short lived however, as the Catamounts used an 8-0 run to take a 27-8 lead. Vermont would take a 32-12 lead into the break, holding UMBC to just four made field goals.
Oliver and Jackson led the way with four points each in the first half. Braxton and Janee'a Summers (Bound Brook, N.J.) each added two in the opening 20 minutes.
The Retrievers found their footing early in the third. Oliver helped lead a comeback scoring the first 11 points for UMBC in the quarter, including three straight three pointers to cut the the deficit to 37-23. From there, the Catamounts would score four straight before the Retrievers ended the quarter with Lucrezia Costa (Rome, Italy) beating the buzzer to make it 43-29 after three.
UMBC kept hanging around in the fourth, getting the deficit to just 14 on multiple occasions. UMBC would continue to battle, outscoring Vermont 9-3 over the final 58 seconds to cut to within eight, ultimately falling 58-50 on Saturday.
Oliver led all scorers with 23 points, with 19 coming in the second half, her third 20 point game of the season. Braxton ended with 10 points with Jackson chipping in nine points and nine rebounds.
Hanna Crymble led the Catamounts with 18 points as Candice Wright and Rose Caverly added 12 each.
UMBC returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 23 when they host UAlbany at 1 p.m. The game will also be the team's Play 4 Kay game on ESPN3.