UMBC women fall well short, 55-30

Retrievers held to lowest total of season, lose to Northeastern in tourney

March 11, 2004|By Mike Scandura | Mike Scandura,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

HARTFORD, Conn. - UMBC coach Phil Stern took a realistic approach after last night's America East Conference women's tournament game against Northeastern.

"Our [four] freshmen are in a situation they shouldn't be in," Stern said after the seventh-seeded Huskies beat the No. 10 seed Retrievers, 55-30, in the first-round game.

"We're probably not ready for this level of basketball yet. We need upperclassmen to step up and carry us through. Our freshmen are going to be fine. But, they're freshmen ... they're going to be inconsistent.

"We need upperclassmen to step up, and we didn't have that this year. The bottom line is our system won us four games this year, and as we get better players, we'll be able to compete at this level."

The Retrievers (4-24) were unable to compete, even though they trailed by just 10 points with 10:55 remaining. When the final buzzer sounded, UMBC's 30 points tied the record for fewest points in an America East tournament game. It also was UMBC's lowest total this season.

UMBC's inability to find its range was underscored by the fact that it was 0-for-11 on three-pointers. During the regular season, UMBC led the conference in three-point baskets (194) and ranked fifth in three-point percentage (.342).

The Retrievers turned the ball over 20 times, and the Huskies (14-14) scored 15 points off those miscues.

"The bottom line is we almost have to play perfect with this group to win at this level," Stern said. "If we turn the ball over 20 times like we did tonight - 13 in the first half - and if we don't make threes, then we're not going to win games at this level.

"Still, Northeastern only scored 55 points, so we controlled the tempo [the Huskies hit just 39.2 percent of their shots]. But we just have to execute better [on offense]."

Perhaps the only Retriever who executed on offense was freshman Sharri Rohde, who scored a team-high 10 points. And the one Retriever who's been reliable, Anastasia Goncharova, scored only one basket - with 10:16 left.

Northeastern, meanwhile, put three players in double figures, led by leading scorer Maralene Zwarich (14 points).

Even though Northeastern continued to play a 2-1-2 or 1-2-2 zone trap in the second half, UMBC cut down its turnovers. And when Mariana Santos made a layup, UMBC cut Northeastern's lead to 36-26 with 10:55 left. But Northeastern closed out the game with a 19-4 run.

"Northeastern's very talented," Stern said. "They're much more talented than we are. It's going to take a couple of recruiting classes for us to compete in the America East."

UMBC-Doughman 0-3 0-0 0, Rohde 4-9 2-4 10, Brown 0-7 2-4 2, Goncharova 1-7 0-0 2, Powell 3-5 0-0 6, Hughes 0-0 0-0 0, Santos 3-3 0-1 6, Pender 0-1 0-0 0, Luttrell 0-1 0-0 0, Voss 2-4 0-1 4. Totals 13-40 4-10 30.

NORTHEASTERN-Burrows 2-7 0-0 5, Kowalski 3-11 1-2 10, Vanin 3-7 2-6 8, Jefferson 1-5 0-2 3, Decerbo 4-7 2-5 10, Alexander 1-1 0-0 2, Gorham 0-1 0-0 0, Zwarich 5-10 4-8 14, Rogers 1-1 0-0 3, Sheppard 0-0 0-0 0, Mansi 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-51 9-23 55.

Half-Northeastern, 26-15. 3-point goals-UMBC 0-11 (Rohde 0-1, Luttrell 0-1, Doughman 0-2, Brown 0-3, Goncharova 0-4); Northeastern 6-17 (Rogers 1-1, Burrows 1-2, Kowalski 3-9, Jefferson 1-4, Mansi 0-1). Rebounds-UMBC 26 (Rohde, Brown, Voss 5); Northeastern 42 (Burrows 9). Assists-UMBC 9 (Brown, Powell 2); Northeastern 8 (Zwarich 3). Total fouls-UMBC 14; Northeastern 12. A-N/A.

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