Women’s Basketball Travels to Hartford on Saturday

Game 27, UMBC at Hartford Game Notes
America East Notes 

BALTIMORE – UMBC women's basketball jumps back on the road for the final two games of the season, starting with a matchup at Hartford on Saturday, Feb. 22. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. inside Chase Family Arena, with all the live action available, free of charge, on the America East digital network.

SCOUTING THE RETRIEVERS (3-23, 2-12 AEC): UMBC continued its hot shooting on Wednesday against Stony Brook, shooting above 50 percent for the third consecutive game, but the Retrievers were unable to limit their turnovers, finishing the game with 28 giveaways in a 72-51 loss in their regular-season home finale. Sophomore guard Liz McNaughton led the black and gold with a career-high 13 points on four-of-five shooting from the floor. Freshmen forwards Sara Tarbert and Amanda Hagaman each contributed 10 points and six rebounds in the matchup. 

Over the last three games, the Retrievers have shot 53.5 percent from the floor, but have turned the ball over 23 times per game to drop two of their last three contests. During league play, UMBC has shot 40.2 percent from the floor and is holding opponents to 37.1 percent, however, the Retrievers are losing the turnover battle (-6.2), ranking last in the conference in the category.

McNaughton has hit seven of her last 10 shots from the field and eight-of-nine from the charity stripe over the last two games. The sophomore reset her career-high in back-to-back games, scoring 12 against Vermont and following with her 13-point effort against the Seawolves.

Tarbert, who is in the midst of a 10-game double-digit scoring streak, tied Michelle Kurowski (2008-09) for the most America East Rookie of the Week honors for a UMBC freshman on Monday after earning her fourth AEC recognition of the season. Tarbert shot 53.8 percent from the floor for the week and averaged 18.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in all 80 minutes of action. The rookie leads all the league's freshmen in scoring (13.3) and rebounding (6.8), ranking in the top-six in the conference in both categories.

SCOUTING THE HAWKS (10-16, 7-6 AEC): Hartford snapped a three-game skid with an 80-64 victory against UMass Lowell on Wednesday. The Hawks had six players finish with double-digit points, including a team-best 18 points from Amber Bepko. Bepko has double-figure points in each of the last five games and ranks 11th in the conference in scoring during America East action (11.8). Junior Cherelle Moore is pulling down 6.9 rebounds per conference game to rank fifth in rebounding, while adding 11.1 points per game (11th in the AEC).

Hartford was picked to finish second in the league in the annual preseason poll after returning three starters and 11 letterwinners from last season's squad that finished third in the conference. The Hawks have finished third or higher for nine straight seasons and are coming off their seventh 20-win season since 2002.

INSIDE THE SERIES: Hartford holds a 19-5 advantage in the all-time series, including four straight victories. UMBC has won just one contest on the Hawks' home floor.

2014 FIRST MEETING: UMBC shot 52.2 percent from the floor in the second half and had four players finish in double-digit points for the first time in 2014 when the Retrievers and Hawks met on Jan. 25. UMBC was able to tie up the contest at 45 with 6:07 to go, but Hartford was able to fend off the Retrievers by outscoring UMBC, 20-10, down the stretch for the 65-55 victory. The freshmen duo of Emily Russo and Sara Tarbert combined for 22 points, 12 rebounds and five assists in the contest. Hartford's Cherelle Moore led five double-digit scorers for the Hawks, finishing with a game-high 16 points.   

ON THE HORIZON FOR THE RETRIEVERS: UMBC concludes the regular-season at Binghamton for the second straight year with a matchup inside the Events Center on Saturday, March 1.