The University of Maine women’s basketball team dropped their third straight game Saturday with a 79-49 beat down at the hands of Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Fla. The Eagles put UMaine in a hole during the early stages of the second half and the Black Bears were unable to produce any momentum to forge a comeback.
The Black Bears were able to stick with the Eagles in the early going by creating high-tempo offense that led to consecutive baskets. Freshman guards Brittany Wells and Liz Wood each hit key shots during the run to make it a one-point deficit at 22-21, midway through the half.
Florida Gulf Coast quickly responded with a 15-2 run to obtain some breathing room. The Eagles found their stroke from behind the arc during that run, hitting three straight 3-pointers to help push the lead to 37-23.
UMaine would not let down though as the Black Bears produced a 7-1 run of their own. Wood produced five of the seven points while sophomore forward Danielle Walczak added a quick layup on the block to put the UMaine back in striking distance at 38-30. The Eagles reeled off five quick points at the end of the first to make it a double-digit lead once again at 43-30.
The Eagles took the momentum at the end of the first, which carried them into the start of the second half. They went 5-7 from the 3-point range to open the second half. The sharp shooting would be part of a 20-3 run by Florida Gulf Coast over the first 9 minutes of the second to stymie the Black Bears and give the Eagles a 63-33 advantage.
UMaine would continue to claw, but was unable to make up any ground, eventually dropping the contest. The Eagles picked up 33 points off 28 Black Bear turnovers, an area that UMaine has been unable to improve over the course of its losing streak. The Black Bears did hold the advantage in rebounds 48-36 and second chance points 11-5, both of which can be silver linings, if any, in the blowout loss.
Freshman forward Liz Wood led the Black Bears with her first career double-double — 10 points, 10 rebounds. Walzcak added nine points and freshman Sophie Weckstrom had eight.
The Eagles had three scorers in double-digit figures, led by junior guard Sarah Hansen’s 20 points. Seniors guards Brittany Kennedy and Joyce Iamstrong chipped in 16 and 17 points, respectively.
The Black Bears will try to get back on track when they travel to face Siena College Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. UMaine returns to the great state of Maine for an afternoon tilt against Rhode Island at the Portland Expo, Dec. 8 at 1 p.m.