Sacred Heart's 31 free throws bounce UMBC women, 69-54

Retrievers make only two in NEC tournament defeat

College Basketball

March 04, 2001|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

TRENTON, N.J. - In the aftermath of her team's 69-54 loss to fifth seed Sacred Heart in yesterday's Northeast Conference women's basketball tournament, UMBC coach Jennifer Bednarek spoke of a glitch in the shot clock.

"We had a little bit of momentum going in this game until we had a little bit of a problem with the shot clock," said Bednarek, who guided her team to a third-place tie after it was picked ninth in the preseason. "From that point, things began to change for us."

Did they ever. With UMBC down 8-3, the game was stopped for a few moments to tend to the shot clock, which had been blinking in and out. When action resumed, Sacred Heart (15-13) went on a 17-2 run and cruised past the fourth-seeded Retrievers (13-15) and into today's 2:15 p.m. semifinal with Mount St. Mary's.

UMBC's trouble went beyond technical difficulties: Sacred Heart held a 35-4 advantage in free-throw attempts. The Pioneers scored 31 points from the line; the Retrievers, two.

Sacred Heart presented UMBC with problems the Retrievers didn't face during last month's 68-52 win. Big problems, like Tara Brady (16 points), Brooke Kelly (17) and Brooke Rutnik (six). Those front-court players were sick, hurt or ineffective in the previous meeting.

"We made no bones about it. Where we wanted to hurt them was inside," said Sacred Heart coach Ed Swanson. The trio combined for 19 rebounds and 23 of 25 free throws. "We wanted to get layups and foul shots, and that was our plan."

Sacred Heart also made sure to deny UMBC the transition game with which it feels so comfortable. In the half-court setting, the Pioneers' Abby Crotty and Ashley Durmer kept the ball away from Retrievers point guard Jessie Brown, limiting the league's top playmaker to three assists.

"They shut us down," said Brown, who finished with 10 points. "Our half-court game isn't as strong, and when we get into that, we start to panic and we don't get good shots."

That was evident when UMBC scored only two points in six minutes as Sacred Heart was going on its game-breaking run that ended with a 20-10 lead with 8:42 left.

SACRED HEART-Rutnik 1-11 4-4 6, Kelly 4-11 9-11 17, Coonradt 3-6 0-0 6, Crotty 0-0 3-4 3, Durmer 1-2 3-4 6, Kohl 2-2 0-0 6, Brady 3-8 10-10 16, Newhard 3-4 2-2 9. Totals 17-44 31-35 69. UMBC-Bada 4-10 1-2 9, She. Johnson 6-16 1-2 13, Dickey 0-4 0-0 0, McDevitt 2-6 0-0 4, Brown 5-13 0-0 10, Rieben 0-1 0-0 0, Sha. Johnson 3-7 0-0 6, Heffel 1-3 0-0 2, Carden 0-1 0-0 0, Coll 5-8 0-0 10. Totals 26-69 2-4 54.

Half-Sacred Heart, 33-23. 3-point goals-SH 4-11 (Kohl 2-2, Newhard 1-1, Durmer 1-2, Coonradt 0-1, Kelly 0-2, Rutnik 0-3), UMBC 0-12 (Bada 0-1, She. Johnson 0-1, McDevitt 0-2, Sha. Johnson 0-3, Brown 0-5). Fouled out-She. Johnson, Sha. Johnson. Rebounds-SH 39 (Kelly 7), UMBC 35 (She. Johnson 11). Assists-SH 10 (Crotty 4), UMBC 9 (Brown 9). Total fouls-SH 10, UMBC 25. A-NA.

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