After enduring another treacherous losing streak, the University of Maine women’s basketball team jumped back in the win column, with a 74-68 victory over Binghamton University on Saturday at Binghamton’s Events Center.
UMaine jumped out to an early 9-4 lead after freshman guard Liz Wood tallied six points, and freshman guard Lauren Bodine added three of her own in the opening minutes of the game. The Bearcats would not be outdone, as they came back with a 16-5 run to take a 20-14 lead with 12 minutes remaining in the opening half.
Wood took matters into her own hands by reeling off eight points straight to help the Black Bears even the score at 22-22 with just over 9 minutes remaining. The UMaine offense caught on quickly after Wood’s run and went on a 9-2 run over the next 5 minutes. The run was capped by a deep 3-pointer from freshman guard Brittany Wells to give the Black Bears a 31-27 lead.
Binghamton mounted another comeback towards the end of the half, as the Bearcats got within one at 31-30. UMaine was able to end the Bearcats’ momentum with a 7-3 run to close the half with a score of 38-33.
The Bearcats continued to keep the Black Bears from running away with things in the second half, as they cut UMaine leads down to 38-37 and 45-43. The Bearcats’ rallies were cut short though, as a tough layup from Wood and a Bodine 3-pointer extended the UMaine lead to 50-43, with less than 13 minutes to play.
UMaine kept playing a cat-and-mouse game with Binghamton, as the Black Bears would relinquish their sizable lead and then regain it minutes later. The Bearcats chiseled the lead down to 53-51, but UMaine answered with a quick jumper from freshman guard Sophie Weckstrom, and freshman forward Mikaela Gustafsson added a layup and a free throw to extend the lead back out to seven.
Binghamton would once again close in on the Black Bears by cutting the lead to 65-61 with just over a minute to play. That’s the closest the Bearcats would get as UMaine converted from the free-throw line down the stretch to hold the lead and close out the 74-68 victory.
The Black Bears were powered by freshman guard Liz Wood’s 22 points and 13 rebounds, both career highs. Gustafsson added 12 points for UMaine, while Weckstom chipped in 11 points.
Sophomore guard Jabriell Swain led the Bearcats with 15 points and 14 rebounds, with sophomore guard Sherae Swinson producing 11 points and senior forward Kara Elofson notching 10 points.
The Black Bears grab the victory after dropping four straight, including an 82-56 loss earlier in the week to Hartford.
Hartford went on runs of 12-2 and 9-0 to run their lead out to 22 with 4 minutes remaining in the opening half. The Hawks took a 40-21 lead due in part to 12 second chance points.
The Black Bears tried to keep things in striking distance but the Hawks overwhelmed UMaine, especially from behind the arc. Hartford stifled the Black Bears by shooting 48 percent from 3-point range in the contest en route to the 82-56 victory.
The Hawks were led by sophomore guard Amber Bepko’s 21 points, including five 3 pointers.
UMaine received 23 points from junior guard Ashley Roberts, while Wood tallied 15 points and seven rebounds.
The Black Bears look to keep up their winning ways as the University of Vermont rolls into Alfond Arena for a conference tilt on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m.