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Wednesday, Dec. 17, 10:39 a.m.
Sports

UMaine women’s basketball falls to 0-2 after Wolfpack Challenge

In their first of two early season tournaments, the University of Maine women’s basketball team went 0-2 at the Sheraton Raleigh Wolfpack Invitational hosted by North Carolina State University.

UMaine dropped game one to Auburn University by a score of 71-41 Friday afternoon and fell in the consolation game against Wofford College 79-76 in overtime.

In game one against Auburn, UMaine freshman center Anna Heise lead the way with 12 points, four rebounds and one assist while freshman guard Liz Wood scored eight points, grabbed four rebounds, recorded two assists and had one steal.

The Black Bears also put up 22 3-point attempts but only scored on four, while Auburn shot 40 percent from 3-point range, hitting 10 of 25.

Sophomore guard Hasina Muhammad led the Tigers with 20 points while junior guard Tyrese Tanner scored 15 while grabbing nine boards and dishing out three assists. Five-foot-one-inch senior guard Najat Ouardad scored 11 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, recorded six assists and two steals.

UMaine opened up their scoring with 3-pointer by sophomore guard Courtney Anderson and took the lead 3-2 with 18:12 left in the first half. The Black Bears kept this up for the majority of the opening period until Ouardad made a three of her own to put the Tigers ahead 9-8 with 13:26 to play in the first half. The Black Bears took the lead again for a brief time after a Heise jump shot, but once Muhammad made a 3-pointer to put the Tigers up 12-10 with 11:26 to go in the first half, there was no looking back for Auburn.

After an 8-2 run by Auburn, UMaine crawled back to within one with 4 minutes to play in the half, but Auburn again made sure all momentum the Black Bears had was gone before the teams went into halftime, ending on a 15-4 run.

Auburn came out of halftime with a 35-23 lead, and continued to build upon it with a 13-2 run. UMaine was unable to answer any of the Tiger’s runs effectively, and with 7 minutes to play, the Tigers were up 60-29.

Wood was able to score a couple baskets for the Black Bears before time expired, while Tanner and Ouardad finished off scoring for Auburn. The Tigers went on to win 71-41.

The Black Bears had a more balanced attack and better shooting on Saturday as they faced off against the Terriers.

UMaine freshman guard Brittany Wells hit a 3-point shot with 18 seconds to play in regulation to tie the game at 65, but Wofford would emerge victorious in the extra period sending the Black Bears back to Orono winless by a final score of 79-76.

Junior guard Ashleigh Roberts had a career day with 29 points, three rebounds and two assists. Three other Black Bears went into double digits in the points category, with freshman forward Mikaela Gustafsson leading the team in rebounds with nine to go along with her 10 points.

Terrier leaders included senior guard Rachel Brittenham, who scored 18 points while grabbing four rebounds, and senior center Daniella Motley, who finished with 10 points, seven assists, two blocks and one steal.

Wofford jumped out to an early 14-6 lead within the first 5 minutes of the game before UMaine went chipped away at the lead with Wood and Roberts leading the comeback.

The Terriers were still able to keep the Black Bears at bay until 6:19 to play in the first half with the score 26-17 when Roberts, Gustafsson and Wood lead a comeback that would get the Black Bears to within three of Wofford at half time.

Wofford went on a 10-0 run to open up the second half before Roberts made a jump shot to break up the run with 14:06 to play in the second half to make the score 46-37. Wofford held around a 10-point lead for the entire half until Roberts decided to take the game into her own hands.

Down 62-53 with just over 4 minutes to play, Roberts scored six of the last 12 Black Bear points in regulation and helped keep the Terriers to only three points during that time span.

In overtime, Wofford and UMaine went basket for basket and kept the game tied until Gustafsson fouled Wofford senior guard Morgan Wrightson with 24 seconds to play in overtime and the score knotted at 76. Wrightson made both foul shots and UMaine could not make a basket as Brittenham made one more free throw for the Terriers. Wofford went on to win 79-76.

North Carolina State would be the champion of the tournament after defeating Auburn by a score of 85-71.

UMaine returns home for one game against Syracuse University before they hit the road next weekend for another tournament. Tip off is scheduled for Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. in the Alfond Arena.

The Black Bears will then travel to Minneapolis, Mn. for the Subway Classic hosted by the University of Minnesota. UMaine will play their opening game against the University of Nevada-Las Vegas Saturday Nov. 17 at 1 p.m.