The University of Maine women’s basketball team had a busy week last week: the team boasted a near record-breaking performance; head coach Richard Barron received a buzz cut after freshman guard Lauren Bodine’s record-tying seven 3-pointers helped UMaine to defeat the University of Vermont Catamounts 73-63 during Tuesday night’s Play 4Kay game; and Bodine also shined for UMaine in the Black Bear’s 56-53 loss Saturday, scoring a career-high 16 points in the contest against the Stony Brook University Seawolves.
“At the beginning all my teammates were driving and kicking out to me, so that helped me get the space that I needed then to step up and knock them down,” Bodine said.
The Black Bears played Tuesday with a major size disadvantage: freshman center Anna Heise, sophomore forward Danielle Walczak and senior forward Corrine Wellington sat out, leaving freshman forward Mikaela Gustafsson the only Maine player in the game who was over 6 feet tall.
Sophomore guard Courtney Anderson, who recorded a double-double, and Bodine played all 40 minutes. Anderson, the smallest player on the team at 5 feet 6 inches tall, led the team in rebounds with 10, shooting nine of 14 from the floor, three of four from the foul line and a 3 pointer; she finished with 22 points. Bodine made 75 percent of all of her shots on the night, making eight of 11, including seven of nine from the three-point line for 24 points. Freshman guard Liz Wood played scored 17 points in 34 minutes for UMaine.
UMaine and Vermont traded baskets for the first 5 minutes of the game before Bodine and UVM freshman guard Lauren Atwood went into a 3-point shot battle. With the score knotted up at six, with 16 minutes to play in the first half. Atwood and Bodine hit four consecutive 3-pointers to make the score 12-12 with 13:15 to play.
Atwood finished with six points, five rebounds and four assists for the Catamounts.
The Black Bears and Catamounts continued to go basket for basket in the first half. Neither team took a lead of more than four points throughout the first 10 minutes of the game.
UVM senior forward Lauren Buschmann and sophomore guard Tierra Shumpert took the Catamounts on an 8-1 run that concluded with 7:49 to play in the first half, but Bodine made a 3-point shot to swing the momentum back to the Black Bears’ side, as she did many times during the game. Bodine made three 3 pointers in a row for the Black Bears to go on a 12-2 run over 6 minutes of play, making the score 30-29 in favor of UMaine with 1:38 to go. Anderson made a jump shot, and Catamount sophomore Kayla Burchill hit a 3 to bring the score to a 32-32 tie at the end of the first half.
With 14:32 left to play in the game, UVM went on 7-0 run, taking a 45-41 lead over the Black Bears. In games past, it was typical to see the Black Bears fall behind, letting the opposing team pull away. After trading a couple of baskets, Anderson and Wood made 3s. Also, a couple of free throws by freshman guard Chantel Charles put the Black Bears up 51-46 with 10 minutes to play. UMaine would not relinquish the lead.
“I was holding up three fingers for other people hitting 3s,” Anderson said. “I was having a good time, and I think over the past couple games we’ve built fun back into playing basketball: We’ve been smiling, having fun out on the court and just playing off each other.”
Bodine, Wood and Anderson led the pull away, as UVM didn’t come closer than 7 points to the Black Bears the rest of the way. After icing the game with free throws, UMaine won consecutive games for the first time season to improve their record to 4-22.
On Saturday’s game at Stony Brook, UMaine could not hold a 25-19 halftime lead as Bodine lead the team with 16 points in the loss.
Wood and Bodine picked up where they left off against UVM, leading the Black Bears out to a 13-5 lead in the first 5 minutes. Freshman guard Sophie Weckstrom also contributed to the early lead, with a 3 pointer of her own.
Stony Brook sophomore forward Sabre Proctor led the team to within five after Weckstrom made her second 3 of the game, making the score 16-11 with just under 12 minutes to play in the first half.
With 3:53 to play in the half, Weckstrom hit a free throw to make UMaine’s lead 25-16. The Seawolves held the Black Bears scoreless until UMaine freshman guard Ashleigh Roberts hit a jump shot, 1:27 into the second half.
Proctor scored 15 points in the second half, while senior guard Dani Klupenger scored nine to lead the Seawolves second-half comeback.
UMaine’s largest lead came after consecutive Bodine 3 pointers at the 12:31 mark, putting the Black Bears up 39-29.
Proctor and Klupenger slowly ate away at the lead until with 4:11 to play, Proctor hit a jump shot to give the Stony Brook their first lead of the game with a score of 48-47.
With 30 seconds to play, Stony Brook junior guard Chikilra Goodman sank two key free throws to make the score 55-49 in favor of the Seawolves. Roberts hit a jump shot and two free throws to cut the lead to 55-53. Seawolf junior guard Tesha Harris made one free throw to give Stony Brook a 56-53 lead, and Bodine missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer to give the Seawolves a victory.
UMaine’s record sits at 4-23 as they finish their season this week with a game at Boston University Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. and a home game against rival University of New Hampshire March 2 at 12 p.m.