NEW YORK, N.Y.- Behind a career day for senior Taylor McCarley (Bowie, Md./Academy of Holy Cross), the UMBC women's basketball team open the 2016-17 season with a 67-56 win over Columbia on Friday, Nov. 11. McCarley reset her career-high in points with 34, including going 10-13 from the free throw line; the senior previous scored 31 points against Vermont in 2014.
The Lions took a lead early in the first quarter as Camille Zimmerman put Columbia up 5-2 with 7:59 on clock before UMBC began to fight back. After back and forth efforts by both teams to keep it tied, McCarley knocked in back-to-back baskets for an 11-7 lead. Columbia's Josie Little counteracted the attack to cut the lead to one, but the Retrievers took a 14-11 lead after freshman Te'yJah Oliver (Clinton Md./Riverdale Baptist) knocked in a jumper at the buzzer.
UMBC held Columbia to just nine points in the second quarter and rested on the heels of McCarley, who went 2-3 from the line. After a pass from senior Emily Russo (Woodbine, Md./Glenelg), freshman Allison McGrath (South Park, Pa./South Park) knocked in a three-point basket for her first career points for the Black and Gold to extend the lead to 19-12. Going into the half, UMBC sported a commanding 32-20 lead over their hosts.
The Lions took over in the third quarter, as sophomore Emily Surloff came off the bench to sink three baskets from behind the arc, coupled with two field goals from Zimmerman. McCarley hit the team's only three-point bucket in the third period but the Retrievers saw their lead cut down to just five before the final quarter.
Columbia tied things up in the fourth at 46-46 with a little over five minutes left to go after sophomore Abby Lee drained a three-pointer. Another battle ensued for the lead but UMBC emerged victorious after two buckets from junior Lakiah Sims (Riverdale, Ga./Charles Drew/Palm Beach State) and four free-throws from McCarley found their way to the bucket sparked a 13-0 run down the stretch.
On the day, the Retrievers shot 23-of-51 (.451) and 16-25 (.640) from the free throw line. Theions ended the game going 22-63 (.349) from the field and 4-6 (.667) at the line. Columbia drained eight three-pointers, while UMBC made five from behind the arc.
McCarley's final stat line on the day included an 11-of-15 performance from the field and a 10-of-13 performance from the free throw line. Senior Pandora Wilson (Gaithersburg, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) finished the day with 12 points, including a three-point bucket in the fourth quarter. Sims had six rebounds and two steals to go along with her six points.
For Columbia, Zimmerman posted a double-double with 22 points and ten rebounds, while Surloff went 5-9 from the three-point line for 15 points. Junior Alexa Giuliano picked up nine rebounds on the day.
UP NEXT FOR THE RETRIEVERS: UMBC will open a four-game homestand at the RAC Arena when they face Gettysburg College on Sunday, Nov. 13. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m.