BALTIMORE - Behind a huge third quarter run and big days from Te'yJah Oliver (Clinton, Md./Riverdale Baptist) and Janee'a Summers (Bound Brook, N.J.), the UMBC women's basketball team closed out a three-game home stretch with 71-48 victory over the Coppin State Eagles on Wednesday at the UMBC Event Center.
The Retrievers move to 2-1 on the year while the Eagles fall to 0-2.
After UMBC took a 29-23 lead at halftime, Coppin State scored the first two baskets of the third quarter to cut the lead to just one. Oliver then ignited the Retrievers with two of her four three-point field goals in the quarter, before Paula Rubio (Madrid, Spain) pushed the UMBC lead to 10, 38-28, before the media timeout.
Summers and Oliver hit back-to-back-to-back baskets out of the break to increase the Retriever lead to 45-28 before another timeout. Jen Gast (Baltimore, Md./Catonsville) and Oliver capped the 20-0 run before the Eagles saw their first basket since the 9:14 mark to make the score 49-30. Coppin State would put up two straight baskets before Oliver hit a three to bring the score up to 52-34; the Eagles ended the frame with a jumper to head into the final quarter with the score at 52-36.
The contest started with a 5-0 lead for UMBC, thanks in part to a Lyric Swann (Elkridge, Md./Long Reach) three and a jumper from Rubio. Coppin State hit a three to cut the lead to two before Summers brought it back up to four. After the media timeout, the teams battled and went into the second quarter with a 15-14 score in favor of the Retrievers.
UMBC opened the second quarter on an 8-0 run, with baskets from Gast and Swann, while O'leyshea Braxton (Paterson, N.J.) hit two free throws before Coppin State cut the lead to 23-16. After the media timeout, Summers hit a layup to give UMBC a 27-18 lead before Coppin State put up five straight points to cut the lead to four. Eryn Fisher (Perth, Australia) put up the last basket of the quarter to send the teams into halftime with the Retrievers lead, 29-23.
After UMBC's monster third quarter, the team started the fourth off on a strong foot as Oliver converted two free throws and Rubio scored five straight points to give the Retrievers a 59-36 lead. The defense held Coppin State scoreless for three minutes, while Dominika Skrocka (Moscow, Russia) and Swann increased the lead to 66-40. The Eagles hit two threes to break the scoreless streak, but Skrocka and Fisher closed out the game for UMBC.
Oliver led all scorers with 19 points, shooting 4-7 from behind the arch; the senior was 4-5 on three-point field goals in the third quarter and also chipped in six rebounds and four assists. Summers posted a double-double, the ninth of her career, with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Rubio set a new career-high with nine assists on the night.
The Eagles were led by Chance Graham who put up 11 points; the reigning MEAC Defensive Player of the Year was limited to just five rebounds after averaging 11.4 rebounds per game last season.
UMBC will now take to the road for a six-game stretch, starting on Saturday, Nov. 16 when they head to Wagner. The opening tip is set for 1 p.m. at the Spiro Sports Center.