UMBC women get 58-56 win over Mount

Retrievers' win streak improves to four games

February 07, 2002|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Win or lose, UMBC women's basketball coach Jennifer Bednarek says she rants and raves to her Retrievers when they don't execute the way she expects.

Despite going 0-for-10 from the three-point line and shooting only 33 percent from the floor in the first half last night against Mount St. Mary's, the Retrievers did just enough in the closing minutes to walk off the RAC Arena floor with a 58-56 win over their Northeast Conference rivals.

"All I told them was we'll take this one," Bednarek said.

The victory extended UMBC's winning streak to four and ended the Mount's two-game run. More importantly, it jumped the Retrievers (10-11, 6-6 in the conference) over Quinnipiac (9-12, 6-7) and into a tie with Mount St. Mary's (9-12, 6-6) for seventh place in conference play. The top eight teams qualify for the tournament.

"First off, we needed this win badly because we're trying to get to the tournament, so it just came down to a battle of heart," said senior forward Yinka Bada, who finished with a team-high 18 points to lead the way. "In the second half, we were in our huddle saying, `This is our place and there should be no way for them to win this game.' "

The two teams came in playing some of their best basketball of the season (both enjoyed wins over NEC front-runner St. Francis (Pa.) last week), but you couldn't tell in the first half.

The Retrievers' 33 percent from the field was countered by 18 turnovers from the Mountaineers, and a 6-0 run in the last 1:42 gave UMBC a 24-19 halftime lead. It made for a back-and-forth second half with neither team able to build more than a five-point lead.

After a jumper from Bada with 50 seconds left gave the Retrievers a 57-54 lead, the Mount got two back with free throws from Rebecca Whike with 43 seconds left, but couldn't convert on two final possessions.

On its final possession with 20 seconds left, the Mount couldn't find sophomore center Beth Foster (21 points) inside, so point guard Lauren Kokotajlo drove and put up a weak shot in the paint that was easily defended by UMBC guard Jessie Brown. Sheila Johnson then hit one of two free throws for the Retrievers with three seconds left for the final margin.

Mount coach Vanessa Blair said it was her Mountaineers' slow start and missed chances at the free-throw line late that proved costly. The Mount missed the front end of a one-and-one, and also came away with just one of two on three other trips to the foul line in the final eight minutes.

"It's definitely tough not playing your best ball, but still having a shot in the end," said Blair. "We came out sluggish with the 18 turnovers in the first half. I thought we'd snap out of it sooner -- and then missing one of two on the free throws came back to bite us."

MOUNT ST. MARY'S --Baccouche 2-5 0-0 5, Whike 0-0 2-2 2, Foster 8-14 5-6 21, Bogart 2-3 3-5 7, Fobbs 2-3 2-3 6, Harris 1-3 2-2 4, Kokotajlo 1-9 3-5 5, Long 3-5 0-0 6. Totals 19-42 17-23 56.

UMBC-- Seamon 3-6 0-0 6, Bada 8-17 2-4 18, Green 4-8 2-5 10, Brown 4-14 2-2 10, Catalanotto 2-3 3-3 7, Sha.Johnson 0-3 0-0 0, Pender 1-1 0-0 2, Coll 0-2 0-0 0, She. Johnson 2-5 1-2 5. Totals 24-59 10-16 58. Halftime--UMBC, 24-19. 3-point goals--MSM 1-7 (Baccouche 1-3, Harris 0-1, Kokotajlo 0-3). UMBC 0-10 (Bada 0-3, Brown 0-6, Sha.Jpohnson 0-1). Rebounds--MSM 35 (Foster 8); UMBC 29 (Seamon 7). Assists--MSM 12 (Bogart 3); UMBC 11 Bada 3). A--375.

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