Late surge lifts UMBC by Bears

Posted Jan. 18, 2009, at 10:24 p.m.

BALTIMORE — Carlee Cassidy and Melissa Book hit back-to-back 3-pointers to ignite a key 9-2 second-half spurt Saturday to help the University of Maryland Baltimore County overcome UMaine for a 68-58 America East women’s basketball victory at The RAC.

Coach Cindy Blodgett’s Black Bears (2-15, 0-4 AE) suffered their 11th consecutive loss. However, UMaine was much more competitive than in re-cent lopsided losses to Hartford and Albany. The Bears simply could not hang onto the lead once they had erased a 13-point, second-half deficit.

“In fairness to this team, I thought they battled back,” Blodgett said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with that. That’s growth. That’s progress.”

The Retrievers (10-7, 2-2 AE) didn’t come away with any huge disparities in the statistics, but the hosts were able to weather solid play by the Bears by maintaining the lead most of the way.

UMaine heads back on the road for Wednesday’s conference game at Vermont, then entertains Boston University on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Junior guard Amanda Tewksbury paced the Bears with 20 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a steal. Brittany Boser contributed 19 points, including 9-for-10 foul shooting, along with four assists and two blocked shots.

Katia Bratishko chipped in with six points and eight rebounds. Kristin Baker of Bing-ham had six points and four assists.

The Bears committed 21 turnovers, which led to only 13 UMBC points. The Retrievers had 17 turnovers that led to 10 UMaine points.

Cassidy sparked UMBC with a game-high 22 points on 7-for-25 shooting, including 3-for-15 from 3-point range. Erin Brown posted 17 points and 10 re-bounds and Michelle Kurowski added nine points and 10 rebounds.

UMaine, which trailed by as many as 13 points with 7:34 remaining in the first half, eventually took the lead after half-time. Baker and Boser sparked the Bears during a 14-3 scoring run.

Boser made a layup at the 17:10 mark, before Baker sandwiched 3-pointers around Bratishko basket from underneath — and a 3-pointer by UMBC’s Cassidy. Tewksbury hit a jumper and Boser later made two free throws as the Bears went on top 41-40 with 11:37 left.

However, Cassidy and Book halted the Bears’ momentum with 3-pointers and UMBC mounted a 9-2 flurry that put it back in control down the stretch.

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