With just a few weeks to go before the America East Tournament, the two hottest teams in the conference will meet for prime spots going into Portland as UMBC (13-12, 8-4 America East) hosts UAlbany (15-10, 9-3 America East) on Wednesday, February 15 at the RAC Arena. The conference battle will tip-off at 7 p.m. on ESPN with Paul Mittermeier (play-by-play), Raven Harris (color) and Hailli Woo (sideline) on the call.
Live stats will be available at umbcretrievers.com and fans can follow the women's basketball twitter account (umbcwbb) for updates. Access of live stats and video is also available via UMBC Front Row, UMBC Athletics' mobile website.
Scouting the Retrievers:
-UMBC picked up its fourth straight win on Sunday afternoon, defeating the Vermont Catamounts, 64-52. The Retrievers shot 44.6 percent from the field and outscored the Catamounts, 24-8, in the paint.
-Senior Taylor McCarley continued to stuff the stat sheet as the guard recorded her first double-double of the season with 14 points and a career-high 12 assists, just two shy of the America East single game record. Freshman Te'Yjah Oliver poured in a game-high 20 points while senior Pandora Wilson netted 14 points to go with seven rebounds.
-On the season, UMBC is averaging 59.8 points and 34.4 rebounds per game. The Retrievers also average 12.3 assists and 8.1 steals per contest, both which rank in the top five among conference opponents. UMBC is third in free throw percentage, hitting 71.2 percent of its shots from the charity stripe, while ranking second in three-point field goal percentage (33.4).
-McCarley continues to pace the Retrievers, averaging 14.0 ppg, which still ranks fourth among conference players. The senior is also top five in assists (second, 4.9) and steals (first, 2.5), and has the second-best assist/turnover ratio in the conference (1.9). In America East games alone, McCarley holds the top spots in assists (5.9) and steals (3.2). Junior Laura Castaldo ranks fourth in three-point field goal percentage, hitting 37.5 percent of her shots from long distance, with freshman Tyler Moore a spot behind her with 36.6 percent.
Scouting the Great Danes:
-Albany brings a six-game winning streak to Baltimore, including a 64-55 win over league-leading New Hampshire. Most recently, the Great Danes took down Binghamton, 80-63, on Thursday, Feb. 9. Against the Bearcats, seniors Imani Tate and Bailey Hixson led the Great Danes with 18 and 20 points, respectively.
-Tate, a Preseason All-Conference selection, leads the America East in scoring as she averages 19.7 ppg; the senior also ranks 19th nationally in the same category. Jessica Féquière is second in the conference in free throw percentage, hitting 83.3 percent of her shots from the line, while also ranking second in rebounds per game (7.2). Overall on the season, the Great Danes are averaging 67.4 points and 38.9 rebounds per contest.
Last Time They Met: UMBC 64, UAlbany 56
Senior guard Taylor McCarley (Bowie, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) scored 12 of her team-high 18 points in the fourth quarter as UMBC (7-11, 2-3) ended Albany's 24-game home winning streak -- the second-longest in the nation -- with a 64-56 victory on January 16.. The Great Danes, the five-time defending America East champions, last lost at home on February 1, 2015 to Maine. Pandora Wilson (Gaithersburg, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) came off the bench and scored 14 points, Laura Castaldo (West Nyack, N.Y./Clarkstown South) scored 12 and freshman Te'yJah Oliver (Clinton, Md./Riverdale Baptist) added 10 points as four Retrievers finished in double-figures.
UMBC led Albany (8-9, 2-2) by the score of 44-42 entering the fourth quarter, but Albany scored the first four points to take a 46-44 lead with 9:04 left. The Retrievers then scored 10 straight over the next 2:48 to take command of the game. They ramped up the defensive pressure, holding Albany without a point for 5:25 during the run. The Great Danes then closed to within 56-52, but McCarley hit a running floater with 2:16 left as UMBC pulled away
This will be the 30th meeting between the Retrievers and the Great Danes, with UAlbany holding a 19-10 advantage over UMBC. Prior to UMBC's victory over UAlbany on January 15, the Great Danes had won 12 straight over the Retrievers.
UMBC will head out on the road to face UMass Lowell on Saturday, Feb. 18. The conference clash will tip-off on ESPN3 at 1 p.m.