ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Junior forward Jen Gast (Baltimore, Md./Catonsville) posted a career day with 15 points and 18 rebounds, but it wasn't enough as the UMBC women's basketball team fell to the La Salle Explorers, 74-58, on Saturday afternoon in the opening game of the Navy Classic.
The Explorers move to 6-1 on the season, while the Retrievers fall to 2-5.
UMBC opened the game on a 4-0 spurt, thanks in part to buckets by Paula Rubio (Madrid, Spain) and Gast. Lucrezia Costa (Rome, Italy) put the Retrievers up, 5-2, before the Explorers cut their deficit to 5-4 at the 5:35 mark. Costa hit a pair of free throws to increase the Retriever lead to 7-4, but the Explorers tied it up on a three-pointer. After Te'yJah Oliver (Clinton, Md./Riverdale) gave UMBC a 9-7 lead at the 4:02 mark, the Retrievers scored eight more points to take a 17-13 lead into the second quarter.
The teams traded baskets to open the second quarter with the teams ended tied, 22-22, at the 6:16 mark of the quarter. The Explorers took a 25-22 lead before Costa tied it up again with a layup and Oliver gave UMBC a 27-25 lead at the 2:12 mark. La Salle would end the game on a 6-0 run and take a 31-27 lead into the half.
La Salle opened the second half with a 6-1 run to take a 37-28 lead before Oliver scored the next three points for UMBC to cut the deficit to 37-32. The Explorers extended their lead to 42-32 before Rubio hit the first three-pointer of the day for the Retrievers, cutting the lead down to seven. Gast put up a layup to cut the lead even further down to 42-37; she and Lyric Swann (Elkridge, Md./Long Reach) helped to get UMBC within four, 45-41, before La Salle scored four points to take a 49-41 advantage into the final quarter.
UMBC was able to cut the La Salle's lead to 49-43 early in the fourth quarter, thanks to a layup from Janee'a Summers (Bound Brook, N.J.) but the Explorers used a 12-0 run to take a 61-43 lead halfway through the period. The Retrievers saw buckets in the final quarter from Rubio, Oliver, Gast, and Sariah Penese (Wellington, New Zealand), but could not overcome La Salle's lead.
Gast was just one of three Retrievers to put up double-digit points, as Oliver led the trip with 16 points, to go along with a career-high nine rebounds, and Rubio put up 11 of her own.
As a team, the Retrievers shot 32.3 percent from the field and 73.7 percent from the free throw line. They outrebounded the Explorers, 49-42.
Claire and Amy Jacobs led the Explorers with 14 and 13 points a piece, respectively.
The Retrievers will face either Kennesaw State or Navy tomorrow afternoon at Alumni Hall.