UMBC Spoils Lady Cats’ Comeback

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UMBC served the women’s basketball team its fourth loss in five games on Tuesday at Patrick Gym.

UMBC made 15 of 16 foul shots in the last minute of play to hold off Vermont 80-72.

The Retrievers rallied behind Sharri Rhode’s 27 points, 10 rebounds and 94.4 percent shooting from the foul line.

“We missed a lot of easy shots today and had too many defensive breakdowns,” said head coach Sharon Dawley.

Vermont only shot 33.8 percent from the field and 21.7 percent from behind the arc.

UMBC, on the other hand, shot an impressive 48.3 percent.

“We had some good looks, but we couldn’t finish again today and we gave them too many open looks by slipping under screens and giving them the back door opportunity,” Dawley said.

UVM was able to jump out to an early 17-12 lead thanks to sophomore Andrea Cihal’s seven points and a career high 11 rebounds.

“I thought Andrea did a nice job rebounding the ball,” Dawley added.

UMBC was able to use a 13-4 run to grab a 27-21 lead with four minutes left in the half and took a 35-29 lead into the half.

Vermont came out strong in the second half closing the lead to one point behind a three pointer from fresh-man Courtnay Pilypaitis

Pilypaitis netted a team high 22 points in the contest.

Pilypaitis added eight rebounds and five assists as well.

UMBC was able to regain the lead 42-38, but a pair of free throws by sophomore Sy Janousek tied the game.

Janousek provided a spark off the bench with 13 points and three rebounds.

UMBC rattled off a 7-0 rally to take a 52-44 lead with 8:12 left in play.

A three by freshman May Kotsopoulos and a jumper by Pilypaitis cut the lead to four at 54-50.

That is as close as the Catamounts would get in the remainder of play.

Kotsopoulos had 13 points in the game and se-nior Brittney Cross added nine points and five assists of her own.

The Retrievers drained 13 consecutive free throws and 15 of 16 overall in the final minute to thwart any comeback attempts by Vermont.

“We did well executing our time management at the end of the game, but UMBC was able to convert their free throws to close out the game,” Dawley said.

With the loss Vermont drops to 16-10 overall on the season, 6-7 in America East.

UMBC is now 13-14 overall, 6-8 in America East play.

The Catamounts hit the road for a pair of games be-fore returning home.

The Cats’ final home game is Saturday, March 3 against Albany at 1:00 p.m. before heading to the America East Conference tournament.