On Saturday, the University of Maine women’s basketball team had little difficulty fending off their archrivals at the Pit in Orono, clinching a 67-48 victory over the University of New Hampshire.
Fifth-year guard Anne Simon carried the team with another back-breaking performance, providing 35 minutes of superstar-caliber basketball to help lift the Black Bears to victory. Third-year forward Adrianna Smith was a major contributor, as she pitched in ten points and fought for 17 rebounds, marking her 17th double-double of the season. The reigning conference player of the year now has over 600 career rebounds and stands at 992 career points.
Second-year guard Sarah Talon had a career-defining night, scoring a new personal best of 15 points and making two blocks on the defensive end. Talon, a Windham, Maine native, has continued to thrive in her performances as coach Amy Vachon has increased her playing time.
With the victory, Maine advances to 9-1 in conference play, tying them with preseason favorites University at Albany at the top of the America East standings.
This win marked Maine’s eighth consecutive victory over New Hampshire in women’s hoops.
The contest’s outcome was never really in question, as Maine took the lead four minutes into the first quarter. The Black Bears could pull away, thanks to their quick stifling defense.
Maine forced four turnovers in the first quarter, leading to an eventual 11 UNH turnovers throughout the game.
The defense clamped down in the second half, holding New Hampshire to a 23.3% field goal percentage in the last two quarters.
Maine’s physical presence in the paint prevented the Wildcats from capitalizing on second-chance scoring opportunities and transition chances.
Impressive accuracy from the three-point range proved to be a pivotal factor in this game, as Maine made ten three-pointers for the second consecutive contest.
The Black Bears sit atop the America East standings with an average of 7.6 successful three-pointers per game. However, they’re only hitting about a 29% conversion rate on their three-point shots.
Women’s basketball will return to the court on Thursday, hosting the Bryant University Bulldogs, whom they previously defeated in their last encounter with a 70-58 outcome.
From there, it’s a three-game road trip for the Black Bears, including a key matchup against the University of Vermont, before they return home to take on Binghamton University and UAlbany.
The regular season finale against the Great Danes will be intense as these two teams duke it out for the regular season crown. Maine narrowly lost 54-47 earlier in the season against UAlbany.