Women's Basketball Heads to Albany for the America East Championship Game

Head Coach Phil Stern
Head Coach Phil Stern

BALTIMORE, Md. - The UMBC women's basketball team (17-14), the No.5 seed in the conference tournament, heads to Albany, N.Y. to face the No. 2-seed Great Danes in the America East title game on Saturday night at SEFCU Arena.  Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. 

The game can be heard live on V1370 AM and V1370.com with Troy Green and Dan Levin calling the action in Albany.  It will aslo be streamed live on ESPN3 with Eric Frede doing the play-by- play and Frank Sullivan adding color commentary. The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) will also air the game live.

The winner of the title game will gain an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament, which begins next week.

Albany swept the regular season series with UMBC this year.  In the first game of the year, the Great Danes forced 20 turnovers and used a combined 30 points from Ebone Henry and Julie Forster to defeat the Retrievers, 53-41.

In the return game, the Great Danes scored the final eight points of the game, all in the last 30 seconds, to overcome a six-point deficit and steal a win at the RAC, 65-63.  Michelle Kurowski led UMBC with 17 points, while Lindsey Lowrie was Albany's top scorer with 18 points.

RETRIEVER UPDATE: A year after winning its first-ever America East regular- season title with a 13-3 record in conference play, UMBC finished the 2011-12 regular season in fifth with a 9-7 conference record. The Retrievers are 17-14 overall and have won their past three games dating back to the regular season. During the regular season, UMBC swept the season series from three league opponents - Vermont, Maine and Stony Brook  - and split with Hartford, New Hampshire and Binghamton, defeating all three at home and falling on the road. UMBC was swept by the top two teams in the conference, Boston U. and Albany.  The Retrievers are coming off of a 77-61 win over regular season champion and tournament No. 1-seed Boston U. on Sunday in the America East Semifinals.  Senior Michelle Kurowski led the Retrievers with 25 points while junior Kristin Colesrecorded her sixth double-double of the year scoring 12 points and grabbing a team-high 10 rebounds.  Seniors Topé Obajolu and Erin Brown were also in double figures for the Retrievers, scoring 13 points and 11 points, respectively.  UMBC's three seniors - Brown, Kurowski and Obajolu - have accounted for 59.2 percent of the Retrievers' offense during the regular season. Brown and Kurowski each rank in the top-10 in the America East in scoring for the second straight year.  Brown, who was named to the America East All-Conference First Team, places second (14.3 ppg), while Kurowski, who garnered Second Team honors, ranks fifth (13.5 ppg).  In addition, both were named to the conference All-Academic team.  Freshamn Lauren Chase, who was the only unanimous selection for the All-Rookie Team, led the league in assists, averaging 4.6 assists per game.  Coles recorded back-to-back double-doubles against Boston U. and Vermont heading into the tournament. 

GREAT DANE UPDATE: Number two-seeded Albany (22-9, 14-2 America East), defeated the No. 6-seed Binghamton, 58-40, in the America East Semifinals.  The Great Danes have now won nine in a row since falling to Hartford, 65-57, on Feb. 18. at home.  Guard Ebony Henry, the America East Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight year, led Albany with 19 points, while guard Lindsey Lowrie was also in double figures, scoring 11 points.  Forward Julie Forster had a team-high 11 rebounds in the win.  Henry leads the Great Danes in coring with 13.9 ppg, while Cassandra Callaway (10.8 ppg) also averages double digit points.  Forster is tops on the team and leads the America East with 10.1 rebounds per game. The Great Danes lead the America East in scoring defense, yielding only 52.6 ppg in 2011-12.  Albany also led the league in steals (11.1 spg) and ranked second in blocked shots (3.0 bpg) and opponent shooting percentage (.362).  The Great Danes were picked to finish fifth in the America East preseason poll after finishing 16-14, and 9-7 in America East play in 2010-2011.