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UMBC separates from BU in 2nd half for win

By: Zain Ahmed

Laura Castaldo hit three 3-pointers and led UMBC with 15 points as they beat Binghamton on Wednesday night.

Laura Castaldo made three 3-pointers en route to a 15-points, seven-rebound performance to lead the UMBC Retrievers women’s basketball team to a 53-45 victory over Binghamton at RAC Arena.

Taylor McCarley was the only other Retriever in double-digits as she posted another solid all-around game with 11 points, nine boards, and five assists. The Retrievers were forced to use their bench more than usual due to injuries to Castaldo and Pandora Wilson. Castaldo was able to return to the game and the injury did not seem to hurt her performance. Wilson did not return and was on the sideline on crutches and with ice wrapped around her foot following a late third quarter injury.

Binghamton jumped out to an early 8-4 lead and was able to extend it to 11-4 before UMBC scored seven in a row to tie the game with 1:44 remaining in the first quarter. Binghamton would score with one minute left in the period and would hold a 13-11 lead at the end of the first 10-minute session.

Binghamton them opened the second quarter with two quick baskets to increase their lead to six points before the Retrievers were able to out-score them 10-6 over the next few minutes to cut the Binghamton lead to three points, 24-21, midway through the second quarter.

In the back-and-forth game, Binghamton took a 26-21 lead with two minutes left before halftime, but Castaldo knocked down two of her 3-pointers to put UMBC ahead 27-26 at the intermission.

Thirty seconds in the second half Castaldo went down with an ankle injury. Allison McGrath stepped in seamlessly, however, and hit two quick 3-pointers to increase UMBC’s lead to seven points with 6:40 left in the quarter. McGrath finished the game with nine points, all coming on 3-pointers.

Castaldo was able to return late in the third quarter and UMBC stretched their lead to 12 points, the largest of the game, off a driving layup by Te’yjah Oliver, who finished with nine points and five assists in the game. That layup came with 3:45 remaining in the quarter, but the Bearcats had a quick burst of offense to trim the UMBC lead down to four points by the end of the period.

But UMBC was able to close out the game in the fourth quarter and never let Binghamton get within six points after some early shots. The Retrievers outscored the Bearcats 12-8 in the fourth and reached the bonus. UMBC was 10-for-14 in the fourth quarter alone. Binghamton never attempted a free throw in the entire game. That inability to get to the line killed Binghamton. The Bearcats won the rebounding battle and made more field goals but the extra attempts from the foul line pushed UMBC over the top.

Imani Watkins led all scorers with 22 points for Binghamton.

UMBC was able to bounce back from their loss to New Hampshire on Saturday and will look to build on their success this coming Saturday when they host Maine at 1 pm.

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Zain Ahmed

Staff Writer
When Zain was a youngster his brothers were huge sports fans, but would only watch occasionally and wasn't a huge sports fan at the time. That would all change when he was in fourth grade and his father gave him his first two sports jerseys. He got an Elton Brand Clippers jersey and Derrick Brooks Buccaneers jersey. Those gifts jump-started his sports fandom, especially for basketball and football. Zain began to follow sports more than ever and even started to play a bit. When in high school he wrestled and played rec basketball. In 2014, his love for sports expanded even more with the World Cup. That got him interested in soccer and the English Premier League. After high school there were no more sports for Zain to play anymore, so to continue his passion for sports he moved into writing.

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