BALTIMORE – UMBC women's basketball built up an 11-point advantage in the opening
stanza, but the Retrievers were unable to hold off Loyola, as UMBC committed all 13 of its turnovers in the game during the second half, while the Greyhounds knocked down 20-of-32 free throws in the period en route to a 56-49 victory in Saturday afternoon's non-conference matchup at Reitz Arena.
Loyola forward Nneka Offodile and guard Nai Brown each notched double-doubles in the contest. Brown scored 13 of her game-high 23 points at the foul line and corralled 10 boards, while Offodile scored eight of her 13 points in the opening half and chipped in 11 rebounds in the contest.
UMBC freshman forward Sara Tarbert (Delta, Pa./Kennard-Dale) finished with a team-best 15 points and pulled down eight rebounds, while classmate Amanda Hagaman (Manasquan, N.J./Manasquan) shot five-for-seven from the floor to chip in a season-best 10 points and added seven rebounds. Sophomore center Bridget O'Donnell added career-bests in rebounds (11) and assists (five).
The Retrievers (1-8) losing streak extends to nine games, while Loyola improves to 3-7 after winning its first game in three tries.
Loyola took an 11-7 advantage at the 12 minute mark of the first half, but the Retrievers' defense held the Greyhounds scoreless for a 7:14 span, resulting in a 13-0 run in favor of the black and gold. Hagaman came off the bench to help spark the run, scoring four points and adding four rebounds during the spurt. Hagaman ignited the Retrievers with a bucket in traffic, which was followed by the game-tying layup from freshman guard Taylor McCarley (Bowie, Md./Academy of Holy Cross). Hagaman added the go-ahead bucket with 10:11 on the clock, paving the way for UMBC to take a 22-13 advantage with 4:32 to go.
UMBC surrendered 19 first-half points, its lowest points allowed in the opening half this season, and took an 11-point lead into the break, 30-19. The Retrievers, who entered the game averaging 19.1 turnovers per game, did not give the ball away in the opening half and held an 18-2 advantage in points in the paint.
The second half was a different story for the Retrievers, who turned the ball over three times in the first four minutes. The Greyhounds took advantage of UMBC's miscues by going on a 10-2 run to come within seven, 36-29, with 13:39 to go.
After a 13-day hiatus, the Retrievers looked to be a step behind in the second stanza, allowing Loyola to take advantage at the free throw line. UMBC was whistled for 20 fouls in the half, leading to 20 of the Greyhounds' points, while the Retrievers shot one-of-seven from the charity stripe in the period. Between foul trouble and turnovers, UMBC gave up a second 10-0 spurt, eliminating the deficit and giving the Greyhounds their first advantage since the 11:45 mark of the opening half.
Brown scored Loyola's final field goal of the contest with 3:22 to go to give the Greyhounds a six-point advantage, 51-45, but back-to-back buckets from Hagaman and freshman guard Emily Russo (Woodbine, Md./Glenelg), brought the Retrievers within two, 51-49, with 2:07 to play. A pair of missed field goals for the Greyhounds gave UMBC a chance for the tie with 43 second to go, but Tarbert's back-door layup came up just short. Loyola knocked down five free throws in the final 36 seconds to hang on for the victory.
UMBC takes a break for the holidays before returning to action for the James Madison Tournament on Dec. 29 and 30. The Retrievers open the two-day tournament against Norfolk State at noon at the Convocation Center.
-Loyola holds a 23-14 advantage in the all-time series and has won back-to-back matchups against the Retrievers.
-UMBC held and advantage at the break for the third time this season. Loyola's 19 points were the lowest first-half point total for a Retriever opponent on the season.
-UMBC's 13 turnovers matched a season-low for them, however, all 13 turnovers came in the second half.
-Loyola has had two players register double-doubles in each of the last two meetings against UMBC. Last season Walczak had 28 points and 11 rebounds, while Wood had 19 points and 12 rebounds.
-Loyola's 34 free throw attempts were a season-high for a Retriever opponent.
-Sara Tarbert reached double-digit points for the eighth time in her career and led the Retrievers in scoring for the eighth time in 10 games.
-Bridget O'Donnell notched career-bests in rebounds (11) and assists (five).
-Amanda Hagaman earned America East Player of the Game honors after notching a career-high 10 points, reaching double-digit points for the first time of her career, and adding seven rebounds in 15 minutes of action.