ORONO, Maine -- The Black Bears return to America East league action as they host UMBC Wednesday evening on ESPN3. Maine, playing its second-straight home contest, enters the game 4-3 at Cross Insurance Center.
A LOOK AT THE BLACK BEARS...
Maine enters the evening at 6-8 overall and searching for its first America East victory of the season after falling in overtime 66-56 to Hartford back on Dec. 11.
The Black Bears are led by senior guard Ashleigh Roberts. Roberts, who stands just 12 points away from 1,000 in her career, is averaging 13.1 points and 5.7 rebounds while shooting a team-high 50.4% from the field. Roberts ranks fifth in the league in scoring, third in field goal percentage and 13th in rebounding. Sophomore Liz Wood is following up her Co-Rookie of the Year season with a solid start to her second season. Wood, coming off a 23-point effort against Yale, is chipping in 12.4 points and a team-high 6.9 rebounds while also leading Maine in assists (3.5) and steals (1.6). Wood ranks eighth in the league in scoring, sixth in rebounding, fourth in assists and sixth in steals. Newcomer Cherrish Wallace has played in two games for Maine and is averaging 11.5 points and 4.5 assists. Maine ranks at the top of the league in three-point shooting with three Black Bears showcased in the top-10 in 3-point field goals made per game. Bodine leads the charge, and the league, from beyond the arc as she is shooting 46.3% from downtown with a league-high 2.4 three-pointers made per game. Bodine has built her scoring average up to 8.2 per game while tallying double-figure efforts in three of her last four games.
As a team, Maine ranks fifth in the league in scoring at 63.8 points while giving up 69.4. The Black Bears are shooting 43.4% from the floor, 34.0% from three-point range and 68.7% from the free throw line while pulling down 34.7 rebounds and handing out a league-leading 16.0 assists.
Last time out, the Retrievers defeated Binghamton 47-32 to snap an 11-game losing streak which dated back to its season opening 59-50 win against Eastern. UMBC enters the contest 0-4 on the road and 0-4 in neutral site contests as it has not won away from its home arena. The Retrievers feature a young squad in which their top five scorers are either sophomores or freshmen. Freshman forward Sara Tarbert leads the UMBC attack as she ranks fourth in the league in scoring at 13.5 points. Tarbert also leads the team in rebounding at 7.2, good for third best among league leadres, and paces the Retrievers in assists at 2.9 per game. Fellow freshman Taylor McCarley is averaging 7.9 points per game with 3.3 rebounds while Sophomore Bridget O'Donnell is talling 5.8 points while shooting 42.5% from the floor.
UMBC averages a league-low 48.6 points per game while giving up 63.5. The Retrievers shoot 39.1% from the floor, 24.9% from three-point range and 60.9% from the free throw stripe. UMBC ranks last in rebounding at 32.1 per game while averaging 18.4 turnovers and 12.5 assists.
Tonight's contest marks the 21st meeting in the history between Maine and UMBC with the Retrievers holding a slight 11-9 advantage. UMBC has won the last five meetings, including the most recent 86-79 decision in Orono on Feb. 2, 2013. Maine's last win came on Jan. 9, 2011 when it defeated UMBC at Alfond Arena by a score of 60-57. In the most recent win, current Black Bear Ashleigh Roberts tallied her first career double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Maine and UMBC first met on Jan. 24, 2004 in which the Black Bears defeated UMBC 60-45. Maine won the first five meetings between the two teams.