The University of Maine women’s basketball team (1-1) kicked off their season Friday, Nov. 10 when they hosted the University of Tulane Green Wave (1-0). Tulane has already played two exhibition games and won both of them. Maine fell to Tulane 42-34 in a back-and-forth battle. This was the fourth time these two teams have met, leaving Tulane with the upper hand with two wins over the Black Bears.
In the first quarter, the Black Bears got on the board first when first-year guard Dor Saar made a nice layup. Maine continued the momentum when redshirt third-year guard Tanesha Sutton let off a shot, giving the Black Bears an early lead. Sutton then went to the line and converted on both free throws, making it 5-0 early in the quarter.
The Green Wave finally got on the board when first-year Sierra Cheatham made a three-pointer. The Black Bears then answered back when Sutton converted on her chance. Tulane then answered back with a three-pointer from fourth-year Kolby Morgan, making the score 8-7.
Second-year guard Julie Brousseau increased Maine’s lead to three when she made a nice jump shot just inside of the arch. Second-year guard Blanca Millan increased Maine’s lead to five when she capitalized on an open shot.
Morgan then went to the line after a Maine foul and she converted on both, making the score 12-10 at the end of the first quarter. After 10 minutes of play, the Black Bears led the Green Wave in steals and field goal percentage.
In the second quarter, Tulane struck first when they converted off of a jump shot from just inside the key. The Black Bears responded when Millan made a nice layup for her fifth point of the night. Tulane then made yet another three-pointer, giving them a one-point lead.
However, the Black Bears responded with a jumper from Saar, putting them in front by one. At the half, the Black Bears trailed the Green Wave 19-16. The Black Bears led in field goal percentage with 28. Both teams were tied in turnovers and defensive and offensive rebounds. Sutton and Millan both had five points at the half.
“Yeah, we were getting open shots but weren’t executing the plays, they just weren’t falling. We just need to focus on our next game but my teammates are capable of making those shots at anytime but they just weren’t falling today,” Sutton explained.
In the third quarter, Maine started off with some nice passing that resulted in a basket for Sutton. Tulane then quickly answered back with a layup from third-year Tene Thompson.
“Congrats to Tulane, it wasn’t the prettiest game you’ll ever see. I was happy with our defense, I thought we did really well on that. Anytime you hold a team to 42 points, you’re in a pretty good position to win the game. Unfortunately for us, offense was hard to come by,” Maine’s Head Coach Amy Vachon said.
First-year Kelly Fogarty checked into the game and quickly made a three-pointer for her first points ever in a Maine uniform to tie the game. The Green Wave answered back with quick passes to increase their lead to three.
Sutton then went up for the shot and got fouled, resulting in two free throws. Sutton made both, tying the game at 24 and increasing her point count to 13. With just seconds to go in the quarter, third-year Parise Rossignol hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to put Maine up by two at the end of the third quarter.
“They switched up the defenses a few times so it took us a little bit of time to get our offence going. I thought it was a really hard fought battle for both sides. Everybody played every play and it was really intense throughout the whole game and it was close,” Morgan said.
In the fourth quarter, Tulane went to the line and converted one of two free throws, putting them ahead by one. Maine took the lead when Sutton found second-year forward Fanny Wadling in the key. Tulane retook the lead when they made a three-pointer with 2:16 remaining in the game and they would keep their lead for the remainder of it.
“We feel really fortunate to come out with a win, I thought it was one of those games that was a defensive battle, neither team shot great. I’m proud of my kids, we had a lot of young players rotating through the lineup so I’m glad we finished it how we did,” Tulane University Head Coach Lisa Stockton said.
Maine will look to pick up their first win on Saturday, Nov. 11 against the loser of the Dayton versus Harvard game. Tulane will play the winner of that game, also playing on Nov. 11.
Women’s basketball downs Harvard University
The University of Maine women’s basketball team played their second game of the season, playing host to Harvard University Crimson (0-2) on Saturday, Nov. 11 to close out the Tip-Off Tournament. The Black Bears came out on top 76-51. The Black Bears played Harvard last season and lost a close game, 69-62. Both teams came into the game off a loss.
In the first quarter, the Black Bears fouled early, sending second-year forward Jeannie Boehm to the line. She converted both foul shots, giving the Crimson an early two-point lead. Maine responded with a three-pointer from Saar.
Harvard then responded with two quick baskets, both from in between the arc, giving them a 6-3 lead. Fourth-year Taylor Rooks was the sent to the line where she converted both of her free-throws, increasing Harvard’s lead to five.
Maine then responded when second-year guard Julie Brosseau made a three-pointer, decreasing the lead to just two with a little over five minutes to go in the first quarter. Millan then tied the game with an easy layup.
Fourth-year forward Kirsten Johnson made a beautiful pass to Millan, cutting through the key to give Maine a two-point lead. Brosseau then increased the lead when she converted on a three-point chance with less than two minutes to go in the quarter.
Brosseau then went to the line after a Harvard foul where she converted both free throws. Millan then intercepted a Harvard pass which led to an easy layup, making it 17-8. With 3.1 seconds left, first-year Jadyn Bush was sent to the line where she made both free throws, making the score 17-10.
In the second quarter, Sutton put up a nice rebound off a shot from Brosseau to increase the lead to nine. Then second-year guard Katie Benzan made a swift move in the key for two points.
Third-year guard Madeline Raster made a nice jumper just inside the arch to cut the deficit to five. Rooks then drove to the basket, making the score 19-16. Sutton was sent to the line where she converted on one of two free throws.
Brosseau then found Millan for her first three-pointer of the game. However, Harvard responded with a three-pointer. Millan then hit her second three of the game to give Maine a four-point lead with less than five minutes to go in the first half.
“We were ready after a tough loss like yesterday where we didn’t make shots. We knew we have to make those shots. We have great shooters and we knew we were going to have a lot of open shots,” Millan said.
Brosseau then put Maine up by nine when she hit a three-pointer for her 11th point of the game. At the half, Maine led Harvard 42-33. Maine led Harvard in field goal and three-point percentage and in rebounds. Millan was a perfect 7-7 from the field.
In the third quarter, Rossignol hit a three-pointer to increase the lead to 14. Sutton then made a nice steal and dished the ball off to Millan, who made no mistake with the layup. Maine continued to buzz when Brosseau made a beautiful play down low, making it 53-35.
Raster then went to the line after a Sutton foul. Raster executed one of two. Saar then hit a perfect three to increase the lead to 20 with less than five to go in the quarter. Raster followed by hitting a three-pointer but Maine responded with a bucket. The Black Bears come out of the quarter with a 58-40 lead.
Saar started off the fourth quarter with a three-pointer. Millan then made a nifty spin move to beat her defender, increasing the lead to 23. Millan would hit a three to continue the Maine double-digit lead.
Third-year Sydney Skinner then went to the line and converted on both throws. However, Millan responded with yet another three.
First-year Kira Barra then went to the line for her first ever collegiate free throws and she converted on both. Fogarty then hit a three-pointer to increase the lead to 25. The Black Bears held onto their lead. Millan was selected to the All-Tournament Team when it was all said and done.
“I was really pleased with how they came out. It could have been really easy to be discouraged and deflated after yesterday’s loss but our team came out ready. I really love our defense. Today, we played man to man, yesterday we switched it up and went man/zone. They got after it,” Vachon stated.
Shooting improved for Maine in this game, as the team shot 44.4 percent from the floor, including 43.3 percent from three point range and 87.5 percent from the free throw line.
The Black Bears return to the court Tuesday, Nov. 14 when they host Bryant University at the Cross Insurance Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Harvard is back in action Wednesday, Nov. 15 when they host Siena College. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.