No. 14/13 GW Opens Season at UMBC Friday Night
No. 14/13 GW (0-0) at Maryland-Baltimore County (0-0)
Nov. 8, 2007
BALTIMORE, MD - The nationally ranked No. 14/13 George Washington women's basketball team begins its 33rd season of competition against Maryland-Baltimore County Friday at 7:30 pm at RAC Arena. The Colonials defeated the Retrievers, 72-58, in both teams' season-opener at Smith Center last November.
GW (0-0) has owned all six meetings between the two schools, winning by an average of 27.7 points per game, including a 75-27 rout of the Retrievers on the road in Feb. 1979. Head coach Joe McKeown has won all four of his meetings against UMBC and is 11-7 in season-opening games at GW. The Colonials have won 17 of their 32 season-openers all-time, but are just 6-13 in openers away from Smith Center.
The Colonials begin the season ranked 13th in the preseason ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Coaches' poll and 14th in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 poll. The No. 13 preseason coaches' poll ranking is the highest in program history, while the No. 14 preseason AP ranking is the third highest. GW finished 2006-07 at No. 14 in the AP Top 25 and No. 11 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Top 25.
No. 14/13 GW returns four starters and 11 letterwinners with a combined 275 career starts to its lineup for the 2007-08 season. The Colonials have 79.2% of their scoring back, along with 83.2% of their rebounding and 83.8% of their assists. Returning starters Kimberly Beck, Sarah-Jo Lawrence, Whitney Allen and Jessica Adair all started at least 30 games and each received A-10 All-Conference recognition last season.
No. 14/13 GW dominated DT3, 95-68, in its lone exhibition tune-up of the preseason Nov. 2. Junior newcomer Antelia Parrish led all scorers with 18 points and added 11 rebounds, seven assists and three steals to pace the Colonials. Seniors Whitney Allen and Kimberly Beck chipped in 13 points apiece, followed by 12 from junior Jessica Adair. Allen added eight boards and game-high eight assists, while Beck had six assists and four steals.
Maryland-Baltimore County was picked to finish sixth (out of nine teams) in the preseason America East Conference coaches' poll. UMBC made an improbable run to its first NCAA Tournament last March by capturing its first America East Conference championship, knocking off top-seeded Hartford, 48-46, in the title game. Seventh-seeded UMBC upset the league's top-3 seeds en route to the AE Championship. UMBC went on to lose to No. 1-seed Connecticut, 82-33, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Retrievers lost three starters and seven letterwinners from last year's team, including their top three scorers in Sharri Rohde (13.4 ppg), Brittnie Hughes (11.3 ppg) and Amanda Robinson (10.3 ppg). Rohde, who is now an assistant coach with UMBC, was a second team All-America East pick, while Robinson was the AEC Tournament MVP. Senior guard Kristin Drabyn is the team's top returnee after averaging 9.6 points on a team-best 68 three-pointers and 33 starts in 2006-07.