Immediate Release: February 14, 2007
Neither team led by more than six points in this see-saw affair that was played in front of a sparse crowd, due to a heavy snowstorm swirling throughout the Northeast. UMBC led 36-31 at intermission but shot just 26% over the final 20 minutes.
The Bearcats took the lead for good with a 7-0 run in the final 4:30. With the Retrievers ahead 59-58, junior forward Laine Kurpniece (Riga, Latvia) sank a pair of free throws with 4:12 left. Sario followed with two free throws of her own with 3:43 remaining to extend the lead to 62-59. After the teams traded two turnovers apiece, Sario nailed a three-pointer from the right corner to double BU's margin. UMBC cut its deficit to one, 66-65, on a three-pointer but senior guard Rebecka Lindgren (Oskarshamn, Sweden) made 2-of-2 from the line with 21 seconds left to restore a three-point margin. With the Retrievers looking for a three-pointer to tie in the closing seconds, Franceski stepped out to block back-to-back shots.
"We really asked our players to respond tonight," head coach Rich Conover said. "I thought we did a nice job getting the lead in the second half and then hitting some free throws at the end."
Sario, who was selected as the America East Player of the Game, and Kurpniece sharing scoring honors with 14 points. Junior forward Brianna Thompson (Chehalis, Wash.) contributed nine points (all in the second half) and 10 rebounds, Lindgren chipped in 10 points, four assists and three steals and senior guard Shea Kenny (Miller Place, N.Y.) added eight points, eight rebounds and three assists.
UMBC senior forward Sharri Rohde led all scorers with 19 points
and was named the Retrievers' America East Player of the Game.
She also pulled down 12 rebounds and had three steals.
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