The UMBC women’s basketball team played their first game in the new UMBC Event Center against Binghamton on Thursday, Feb. 8. Coming off of a thrilling one point victory in Vermont, the Retrievers looked to continue their attempt to salvage what has been a disappointing season thus far.
The women’s team has shown flashes of greatness at points during the season, but they have been plagued by injuries as well. During some points of the year, the Retrievers have only been able to dress as few as seven players for games, causing their energy to fade throughout the game. Though fatigue and mental errors have been a theme for the Retrievers this season, they are still determined to get better every time they step on the court as they aim to shock the conference in the America East Playoffs in March.
It was a cold night in Catonsville, and the crowd inside of the Event Center was… eerie at best. Coming into the game, the team had a dismal record of 3-20, and the lack of support for the women’s basketball team was disheartening. Saturday at the men’s basketball game, the Event Center was electric as tickets flew from the ticket window and over 4,000 fans were in attendance. On Thursday, the Event Center had just 514 fans in attendance. Even as the Retrievers played three solid quarters of basketball, scattered applause and ominous silence filled the arena most of the evening.
In the first half, the Retrievers played a strong game. They matched Binghamton basket for basket and eventually were able to take a 6-point lead. As is a common theme so far this season, the Retrievers would eventually succumb to fatigue, and make mental mistakes in the late third and early fourth quarters. UMBC trailed by almost 30 at one point, until senior public health major and team guard Laura Castaldo made consecutive three-point shots. The team made key defensive stops and cut the deficit to 15. Time expired, however, and UMBC dropped to 2-9 in the America East Conference. Laura Castaldo lead the team with 20 points, while playing all 40 minutes of the game. Redshirt senior media and communications major and team guard Brittany Burgess registered a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds while playing all but the final minute.
The Retrievers played again at home on Sunday against New Hampshire, finishing with yet another loss of 51-46. So, come out and support the UMBC women’s basketball team, these ladies work hard and deserve your support.