Going into the season the UMaine women’s basketball team was expected to be one of the teams to beat. After an impressive season, where they took first place for the American East last year, all eyes are now on the Black Bears. The team has continued to meet these expectations this season with a record of 10-1 against teams in the conference. In addition, the team is currently on a six game winning streak. The only loss that they have endured in their conference was against Hartford, which was also their most recent loss, 46-49, on Jan. 16.
In the last four games, Maine has held their opponents to 45 points exactly. This shows just how well balanced the team actually is. Their defense has been exceptional this season, forcing at least ten turnovers in every game. The team has also worked off the glass to consistently snatch up over 30 rebounds per game. This rebounding is mostly thanks to third-year forward Fanny Wadling who often surpasses 10 rebounds a game, helping to secure possession for the Black Bears on the boards.
Not only has the team worked well on defense, but they’ve been impressive on offense as well this season. In their game against Binghamton the team was able to score an impressive 95 points, with an overwhelming 35 points scored in the third quarter alone. This is more than half of the points scored by the opposing team in the period. This domination by the Black Bears have secured them as the team to beat this season.
The six teams defeated by Maine during this streak include the University of Maryland Baltimore County, University of Vermont, University of New Hampshire, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Binghamton University and Stony Brook University. In each one of these games Maine won by double digits, with the lowest win by 13 points. All six of these teams are high on the American East divisional rankings, with the University of Hartford and Albany in second and third place respectively. This winning streak will hopefully prepare Maine for their next game.
Maine will be up against the University of Hartford next at the Cross Insurance Center on Wednesday. Hartford’s record is 9-1, and with Maine riding a hot streak, this showdown will be one to watch for sure. Looking back on their last contest against the Hartford Hawks, the Black Bears couldn’t gather their rhythm on offense, shooting 33 percent from the field and 19 percent from beyond the three point line. Now with a home court advantage and a strong hot streak, the Black Bears have a good chance to come out on top and keep the first place position in the American East.
With a team that works well together and has plenty of talent it is very possible to see Maine make it as far or farther than last year.