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After making history, UMBC alumni hope it catches on

The University of Maryland Baltimore County alumni hope that Friday night's history-making win over the University of Virginia is just the beginning for the campus they call home.

BALTIMORE — The University of Maryland Baltimore County alumni hope that Friday night’s history-making win over the University of Virginia is just the beginning for the campus they call home.

Holly Owens and Heather Hensgen graduated from UMBC two years apart, and were glued to the television in Hensgen’s living room into the late hours of Friday night.

“We were just screaming ‘Retriever believer! Retreiver believer!’ all over the place,” said Hensgen. “I definitely knew that by the time they were tied at halftime, they were going to pull it off.”

Hensgen and Owens aren’t you’re typical college roommates, they’re also twins. UMBC has always been a family affair for them, and Owens even returned after graduating as an employee.

“UMBC is like home,” Owens said.

Now, their “home” has been thrust into the spotlight in an unlikely way — the men’s basketball team, a 16-seed in the NCAA Tournament, beat No. 1 overall UVA in decisive fashion.

“We’re known for our academics and our chess team,” said Hensgen, “but now we’re going to be known for our sports teams.”

“It really does help the institution and the state and everything,” Hensgen said.

Supporting sports teams isn’t the most popular pass-time on campus. Students rally when teams are doing well, but there are some glaring holes in the athletic life of the school.

“We don’t have a football team,” Owens said. “You can get a sweatshirt at the bookstore that says ‘UMBC Football, Undefeated since 1966,’ but we don’t have a football team.”

Both say they owe a lot to the campus. The school just had it’s giving day on February 27, something that might get a boost following Friday night’s victory. Hensgen and Owens are excited for the campus to be elevated, showing everyone why they both love it so much.

“I’m so appreciative of the institution,” Hensgen said. “We’re productive members of society and definitely success stories for this institution.”

So what about future support for the men’s basketball program?

“It’s definitely going to be big now,” Owens said.


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