Women’s basketball slides past Hartford
Maine looked to take the season series against Hartford, as the Black Bears had previously won on Monday, Jan. 16 with a score of 73-62. This contest was even throughout, as both teams went back and forth for the entirety of 40 minutes. But the Black Bears won a close one, 66-60. Maine dropped to 13-13 on the season, while Hartford improved to 14-9.
The scoring got started with a layup from first-year forward Fanny Wadling, as both teams swapped buckets for the entirety of the opening quarter. Hartford’s third-year forward Janelle Harrison led all players with six points in the period, followed by first-year guard Blanca Millan with five and fourth-year forward La’Trice Hall with four.
Others to score were first-year guard Julie Brosseau and fourth-year guard Deanna Mayza with three points each and first-year forward Anita Kelava, redshirt second-year guard Tanesha Sutton, first-year forward Laia Sole, second-year guard Lindsey Abed and fourth-year forward Alyssa Reaves with two a piece. In a tight game after 10 minutes, the Hawks led 17-16.
The second quarter was very similar to the first, as each team traded shots and neither had a lead of more than three points. Brosseau was the leading scorer of the quarter with seven points and made the only three-pointer during the period. The remaining points came from the majority of layups and free throws, of which mostly came in the last few minutes.
Hawks to score in the period were first-year guard Sierra DaCosta with six, third-year forward Darby Lee and Harrison with four each and Mayza with one. Black Bears to contribute were Brosseau and Sole with seven each, Sutton with two and Millan with one. At halftime, Maine led 33-32.
The Black Bears turned it on in the third quarter, as they spread out three-pointers from a few players, with one coming from both fourth-year guard Sigi Koizar and Brosseau and two more from Millan, who led the quarter with eight points.
Maine was able to increase their lead to as many as 12 points and didn’t show much sign to let this one slip out of their hands. Other to score in the quarter were Sole and Lee with four each, Harrison and Abed with three each and Kelava with two. After three, the Black Bears led 54-42.
The Hawks started mounting a comeback in the first couple minutes of the final quarter, as Lee began it with a layup. DaCosta went on a run when she converted a layup of her own in which she was fouled and made a free throw, then hit a clutch three-point shot to cut the deficit to four points.
Brosseau came back right after with a deep range shot to bring the lead back to seven 7, but then a three-pointer from Abed and two jumpers from Reaves cut it to a two-point game. That’s as close as it would get, despite the Hawks outscoring the Black Bears by six points in the last 10 minutes of the game.
Those to score in the fourth were DaCosta and Sole with six each, Abed with five, Reaves with four, Brosseau with three, Wadling and Lee with two and Koizar and second-year forward Jalay Knowles with one point apiece.
The leading scorer for the game was Sole with 19 points, followed by Brosseau with 17, Millan with 14, Harrison with 13, DaCosta with 12 and Abed and Lee with 10 each. Maine was the underdog in this one, but overcame the odds to win this close contest, 66-60 and got back to .500 on the season once again.
Maine returns to action on Thursday, February 9 at home at 7 p.m. against the University of Massachusetts Lowell. The University of Hartford plays next on Thursday, Feb. 9 at home at 7 p.m. against the University of Maryland – Baltimore County.
Women’s basketball prevails over UMass Lowell
Maine sought a season sweep of the River Hawks, as they took home a victory on Wednesday, Jan. 11 with a final score of 65-44. The Black Bears didn’t let down against a team with a less-than-impressive record, as they claimed a dominating 76-50 win. Maine improved to 14-13 on the year, while UMass Lowell dropped to 3-22.
The scoring started off with third-year forward Kayla Gibbs converting a jumper for the River Hawks and shortly after first-year forward Anita Kelava made a three-pointer to put Maine ahead. The Black Bears added on to their early lead, as redshirt second-year guard Tanesha Sutton hit the first three-point attempt of her own and fourth-year guard Sigi Koizar was found a rhythm with a quarter-leading eight points.
UMass Lowell fought back after a 10-4 deficit, to go ahead by one with a jumper from first-year guard Megan Hendrick and five points from Gibbs. Maine went on a 10-2 run before the first ten minutes ended, started by two three-pointers from Koizar and led 20-13.
“A one point lead isn’t much in basketball, but after we got that, we just weren’t the same the rest of the game,” Gibbs said.
The Black Bears poured it on in the second quarter, as first-year guard Julie Brosseau increased Maine’s lead with a deep range shot, a basket and a free throw. and Teammate first-year forward Laia Sole contributed a period-leading seven points with three two-pointers and a foul shot.
Maine was by far the dominant team in the quarter and showed that by outscoring the River Hawks 25-10. Black Bears to score were Kelava with five points, first-year guard Naira Caceres with four and Koizar with three. UMass Lowell got its points from just two players, including second-year forward Katherine Smith with six and first-year guard Markayla Sherman with four as Maine led 45-23 at the half.
“These girls really started to play team ball in the first half and that showed when they didn’t lose control in the last 20 minutes. We need consistency if we expect to win,” Maine Interim Head Coach Amy Vachon said.
In the third quarter, when the River Hawks slightly outscored the Black Bears 19-18, there was one point when Maine had doubled up UMass Lowell, 56-28. Points for Maine were scrambled amongst six players, including Koizar with five, Kelava with four, first-year guard Blanca Millan, third-year forward Kirsten Johnson, Wadling and Sole with two each and Caceres with one.
“No one was getting selfish with the ball and it’s important that we have ball movement to keep moving and stay off our heels,” Kelava said.
The River Hawks saw production from Smith, with six points for the second consecutive quarter, Sherman with five and Gibbs and Hendrick two a piece. After 30 minutes, Maine was in total control, up 63-42.
In what was a low-scoring fourth quarter, Maine still managed to claim their biggest lead yet again at 26 points and saw three more players score points after not seeing any action for the first three periods. First-year forward Tihana Stojsavljevic made two baskets and fourth-year Sheraton Jones and second-year guard Isabel Hernandez-Pepe each made one.
“They were the stronger team up and down the lineup and we couldn’t match their play today. We have still have some issues to work on, but we will try to improve from this and hopefully show a better effort for the future,” UMass Lowell Head Coach Jenerrie Harris said.
UMass Lowell’s eight points came from three different players, including Hendrick with three and Gibbs and Sherman with two each. Koizar led the contest with 16 points, followed by Kelava with 14, Gibbs and Smith with 13 and Sherman with 11. In a game when the River Hawks didn’t show much of a chance to climb back into it, the Black Bears stormed to a demanding 76-50 victory.
Maine returns to action on Sunday, February 12 at home at 1 p.m. against Stony Brook University. The University of Massachusetts Lowell plays next on Sunday, Feb. 12 at home at 2 p.m. against the University of Hartford.