LADY HAWKS HOST UMBC FOR FINAL HOME GAME OF 2012
Dec. 20, 2012
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. -- Before the holiday break, UMES will play its final home game of the 2012 calendar year, taking on in-state rival UMBC at 2 p.m. on Friday at the Hytche Athletic Center. Attendance for all fans is free for the game.
UMES comes in at 3-6 and will play its final home game until January 12th. UMBC is 3-7, playing in its first of three straight games away from Baltimore.
LAST TIME OUT: UMES led at the half against American and kept close most of the game, but the Lady Hawks fell short to the Eagles 61-53 at the Hytche Athletic Center on Tuesday. Using a half-ending 9-0 run, UMES took a 26-24 lead into the break after trailing a majority of the first half. But a quick second half start and strong three-point shooting pushed American ahead, and UMES could not close the gap. Karona Roach led UMES in scoring for the seventh game this season, finishing with 15 points and six rebounds, while Shawnee Sweeney earned 13 points and six boards. Alexis Dobbs got 15 points and five assists for American.
SERIES HISTORY: UMBC leads the season series against UMES 7-2, including winning three of the last four contests since the matchup was revived in 2008. This will be the first of two straight games for UMES against America East opponents with a game against Hartford on the 28th, while UMBC is 1-1 against the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, including an overtime win over Coppin State. UMES won the last game in Princess Anne 64-52 in the Lady Hawks' 2010 season opener. Last year, UMES fell in a tight game in Baltimore 65-60 despite Chelsea Sanders scoring a career-high 22 points. Erin Brown led the Retrievers with 24 points in that game.
SCOUTING THE RETRIEVERS: UMBC is currently on a four-game losing streak and stands at 3-7, playing for the first time since December 7th when the Retrievers lost to Hampton at home 81-36. Senior guard and James Madison transfer Brittany Crowell leads the team in rebounding with 5.5 a game, also scoring 10.5 points a contest. Longwood transfer guard Bria White is the leading scorer, earning 10.6 points a contest.
KARONA LEADS THE WAY: Senior Karona Roach is averaging 13.9 points per contest this season, leading UMES in scoring in seven out of nine games and standing 10th in the MEAC in points per game. She earned a career-high 20 points against Mount St. Mary's, passing her previous high of 17 against Elizabeth City State. She also leads the team with 20 steals and 22 assists.
YOU DON'T SCORE ON UDOJI: Filling the void left by the graduating Adobi Agbasi, freshman Alexis Udoji has blocked 20 shots in her first six games, standing second in the MEAC with 2.2 blocked shots a game. Her six blocks against Towson is a personal career-high and team-best this season. She is shooting 44.1% from the field and has earned a MEAC Rookie of the Week award this season.
FOLLOW THE FRESHMEN: UMES is a very young squad this season, including eight freshmen on the roster. Those freshmen have combined for almost 40% of UMES's minutes this season. Alexis Udoji has had the most time of the freshmen, averaging 22.8 minutes a game, while Ashleigh Claybrooks is second with 17.9 minutes a contest. Kiana Sturgis and Taylor Thompson average double digit minutes as well, while three other freshmen get over eight minutes a game.
WHERE IS THE BALL?: Karona Roach and Jessica Long have been forcing turnovers for UMES this season, earning 20 and 19 steals respectively this year. Each stand in the top-15 in the MEAC in steals per game and make up almost half of UMES's steals. As a team, UMES averages 10 steals per game to stand sixth in the conference.
LADY HAWKS CONTROL THE PERIMETER: UMES stands in the top-five in the MEAC in both three-point shooting and perimeter shooting defense this season. Shooting over 30% from three-point range, UMES is 5th in the conference in that category, led by Karona Roach, who is 13-31 (41.9%) for three in her first nine games. On the defensive side, opponents are shooting just 28.2% for three. Towson went 0-9 from the perimeter against UMES for the second time this season the Lady Hawks have allowed one or less three-point baskets this year.
RETURNING GUARDS GREATLY IMPROVING SCORING: Four UMES guards have at least or nearly tripled their average offensive output from last season. UMES's leading scorer Karona Roach is scoring 13.9 points a contest after averaging just four last year. Sha-Kiyla Finney was averaging 2.3 points per game in the 2011-12 season and this year earns 8.1 points a contest. Primary point guard Jessica Long is third on the team with 8.0 points a game after just getting 2.1 each game last season. Shawnee Sweeney is getting 6.4 points a game, almost triple her 1.9 points a game output last season.