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UMBC pushes unbeaten Maryland in 70-59 defeat

Sunday - 11/20/2011, 6:19am  ET

CATONSVILLE, Md. (AP) - The way he was pumping his fist and high-fiving his players in the waning moments of a loss to a ranked team, you'd think UMBC coach Phil Stern had pulled off an upset of Maryland.

Instead, Stern said the pesky Retrievers made a statement in defeat.

"I'm really proud of the effort we put forth," Stern said after a 70-59 loss to No. 10 Maryland on Saturday night. "We don't want to lose, but I think we certainly showed everybody we can play with the best tonight."

Save for allowing the Terrapins a big first-half run and an ill-timed field-goal drought in the middle of the second half, UMBC (2-2) hung close to Maryland (4-0) and made coach Brenda Frese sweat out her team's first road game of the season.

UMBC, the defending America East regular season champions, got 14 points each from Erin Brown and Michelle Kurowski and 12 from Lauren Chase.

The Retrievers fell to 0-20 all-time against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents and saw a 12-game home winning streak end.

"Obviously, we'd like to come out with a win, but I think this game helped us build together as a team," said Brown, who was shut down in the second half as Maryland limited the Retrievers to 6-for-23 shooting from the floor.

While Brown was struggling in the second 20 minutes, Maryland's Lynetta Kizer was finally establishing some rhythm in her season debut. Kizer missed the Terrapins' first three games of the season due to a suspension for an unspecified violation of team rules.

Tianna Hawkins had 19 points and 18 rebounds, Kizer scored 12 points in her return from the ban and Maaryland withstood the Retrievers' upset bid.

Kizer entered the game midway through the first half and immediately provided a physical lift for the Terrapins. But the 6-foot-4 senior center looked out of synch at times.

"It feels good (to be back). I was excited to play in the game," said Kizer, who logged 19 minutes in her season debut. "I'm proud of my teammates, how they worked with me."

After scoring four points in five first-half minutes, Kizer exerted her presence in the second half, when Maryland repeatedly blunted UMBC comebacks.

She put in Anjale Barrett's miss with 10:42 left to make it 51-45, muscled between two defenders to finish off a transition fast break for a 56-47 lead and then converted a layup to expand the cushion to 11 points.

"I really liked how Lynetta played," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. "She really let the game come to herself and gave us a big spark with her presence inside. Giving us a low-post presences, with her and Tianna, (was important) especially as we battled through some foul trouble with Tianna."

Frese wouldn't commit to a plan for Kizer's playing time moving forward, saying "every game's going to be different. In every game, you have to see how it unfolds."

Brene Moseley added 14 points for the Terrapins, who improved to 10-0 all-time against the Retrievers.

With the game tied 9-9 after Chase scored on a backdoor cut, Maryland reeled off a 17-3 run, taking a 14-point lead on a pair of free throws by Kizer. Moseley had seven points in the burst.

But the Retrievers knocked down three 3-pointers, Brown converted a three-point play and a Kurowski jumper from the right baseline cut the Terrapins' lead to 32-29 with 4:02 remaining in the first half.

Maryland scored eight of the next 10 points, taking a 40-31 halftime lead on Hawkins' right-side bank shot with 28.2 seconds left. Hawkins had 12 points and 10 rebounds in the opening 20 minutes.

Laurin Mincey hit a 3 on Maryland's first possession of the second half, but the Terrapins misfired on their next six possessions. While Maryland struggled, Kurowski was scoring six points in an 9-0 burst, and her left-wing 3-pointer got the Retrievers within 43-40 with 16:05 remaining.

Kizer then muscled in the rebound of a Moseley miss and Alicia DeVaughn scored off a transition layup for a 47-40 Maryland lead.

Chase's three-point play cut the Maryland lead to four points with 12:10 left, but UMBC didn't connect again from the field until Brittany Crowell jumper with 2:55 remaining cut the lead to 64-52.

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