Umbc

November 13, 1998|By Jamison Hensley

Coach: Jennifer Bednarek, first season at UMBC.

Affiliation: Northeast Conference.

1997-98 record: 7-20, 4-8 in Big South.

Radio: None.

Arena: UMBC Fieldhouse (4,024).

Starters lost: Two.

Tickets: $6 adults, $3 children. Call 410-455-2205.

Best home game: St. Francis, Pa., Dec. 5. The two-time defending Northeast Conference champion is the Retrievers' first conference opponent.

Best visiting player: Jess Zinoble, St. Francis, Pa., Dec. 5. The 5-foot-11 forward was the NEC's Player of the Year a sophomore last season.

Outlook: The Retrievers' inaugural season in the NEC coincides with Bednarek's first season as coach. Bednarek, UMBC's top assistant last season, was promoted May 5, four days after Kathy Solano resigned, ending her 16-year tenure. She will attempt to rebuild a program that has won only 11 of its previous 54 games. The only double-figure scorer, Kendra Damann, has graduated, putting immediate pressure on five freshmen to make an impact. "I don't know that we've had a better class in terms of pure athleticism in quite some time," Bednarek said. "The faster that they can adjust to the college level, the faster our team can succeed." UMBC's short-term goal is to finish in the top half of the conference.

Around the league: St. Francis, Pa., is once again the heavy favorite and should win its third consecutive conference title.

Returning players

Name -- Kim Brown

Yr. -- Jr.

Ht. -- 5-7

Pos. -- G

Fast breaks -- Could be a double-digit scorer.

Name -- Erin Davies

Yr. -- Jr.

Ht. -- 5-4

Pos. -- G

Fast breaks -- Needs to step up leadership, ballhandling.

Name -- Kathy Doyle

Yr. -- Sr.

Ht. -- 5-8

Pos. -- G

Fast breaks -- Swing player who slashes to the basket.

Name -- Serena Hampton

Yr. -- Jr.

Ht. -- 5-10

Pos. -- C

Fast breaks -- Could be twin-tower combination with Logan.

Name -- Nicole Johnson

Yr. -- Sr.

Ht. -- 5-10

Pos. -- G/F

Fast breaks -- Top long-range threat.

@Name -- Monica Logan

Yr. -- Sr.

Ht. -- 6-0

Pos. -- C

Fast breaks -- A force in the middle, All-NEC candidate.

Name -- Suzanne Manzi

Yr. -- Jr.

Ht. -- 6-0

Pos. -- F

Fast breaks -- Excellent defender, improving offensive skills.

Name -- Emmalee Spiek

Yr. -- So.

Ht. -- 6-2

Pos. -- C

Fast breaks -- Worked heavily on strength during summer.

Newcomers

Name -- Yinka Bada

Yr. -- Fr.

Ht. -- 5-6

Pos. -- G

Fast breaks -- Only been playing the game for four years.

Name -- Shalisa Johnson

Yr. -- Jr.

Ht. -- 6-0

Pos. -- F

Fast breaks -- Clarion State transfer.

Name -- Shelia Johnson

Yr. -- Fr.

Ht. -- 5-8

Pos. -- F

Fast breaks -- Extraordinary leaper who runs the floor.

Name -- Amie Laasen

Yr. -- Fr.

Ht. -- 6-1

Pos. -- F

Fast breaks -- Canadian is future starter in frontcourt.

Name -- Jami Lange

Yr. -- Fr.

Ht. -- 5-6

Pos. -- G

Fast breaks -- "Gym rat" is team's only true point guard.

Name -- Maggie McDevitt

Yr. -- So.

Ht. -- 5-8

Pos. -- G

Fast breaks -- Tore ACL in last year's first practice.

Name -- Danielle Shelton

Yr. -- Fr.

Ht. -- 5-5

Pos. -- G

Fast breaks -- Great outside touch for a freshman.

Pub Date: 11/13/98

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