BALTIMORE, Md. - After making seven three-pointers in the first half, the New Hampshire Wildcats were limited to one in the second half as the UMBC Retrievers pulled away to a 65-53 victory Saturday night in America East women's basketball action at the RAC Arena.
After UMBC (12-8, 4-5 America East) took a 24-15 lead with 8:21 left in the first half, Ashley Cerniglia (Pittsford, N.Y) hit one of her four three-pointers, then Danielle Clark (Corinna, Maine) hit back-to-back three-pointers to tie the game. The Retrievers retook the lead, but Cerniglia hit two more three-pointers in the last three minutes to keep the Wildcats within three at 35-32 at halftime.
UNH went cold from the field early in the second half, missing eight consecutive shots while the Retrievers went on an 8-0 run to take a 46-36 lead with 12 minutes remaining in the second half. The Wildcats came within five points at 49-44 with eight minutes left, but a three-pointer by Heather Luttrell with 3:08 remaining gave UMBC a double-digit lead that UNH could not come back from.
Clark scored 13 points, all in the first half, and pulled down six rebounds before fouling out in the final minute. Cerniglia's four three-pointers earned her 12 points, but she missed her last four attempts from behind the arc, including all three second half attempts.
Ray Williams (Mississauga, Ontario) also scored 12 points, plus she grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, dished out three assists, and blocked two shots. Ebony Woods (Philadelphia, Pa.) scored eight of her nine points in the second half and also earned a season-high six steals.
Sharri Rohde played the entire game for UMBC, leading the Retrievers with 19 points, nine rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Brittnie Hughes also never left the game, contributing 14 points, three rebounds, and two steals, while Matea Pender scored 12 points and Amanda Robinson added nine points and seven rebounds to the winning cause.
The Wildcats finished the night shooting 38.3 percent (18-of-47) from the field, including only 1-of-11 (9.1%) from the three-point line in the second half. UMBC won the rebounding battle, 36-26, and went 17-of-22 from the free throw line, while UNH made 9-of-13 shots from the charity stripe.
New Hampshire (12-8, 4-5 America East) returns home for the first time in 12 days, hosting the Binghamton Bearcats Thursday, February 9, at 7 p.m. at Lundholm Gymnasium. For ticket information, call 1-866-WILDCAT or go online to www.unhwildcats.com/tickets.