Maine women’s basketball goes 1-2 on the week

Lady Black Bears fall 57-65 to The University Of New Hampshire at home, Tuesday.

Women’s basketball slides past Stony Brook in overtime

Donning special pink jerseys to host its annual Play4Kay game, where money was raised for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, the University of Maine aimed to split the season series with Stony Brook after a 55-41 loss earlier in the season on Saturday, Jan. 14. It was a well-played game as both teams displayed a good effort, but it was the Black Bears who prevailed in overtime, coming away with a dignifying 78-71 victory. Maine improved to 15-13 on the year, while the Seawolves dropped to 10-15.
Scoring began with four straight layups, as two came from redshirt second-year guard Tanesha Sutton, another from fourth-year guard Kori Bayne-Walker and the other from first-year forward Fanny Wadling.

The Black Bears established a lead as big as eight points in the opening quarter with a deep-range shot from fourth-year guard Sigi Koizar and a layup from first-year guard Blanca Millan.

Stony Brook cut into the deficit with three pointers from fourth-year guard Christa Scognamiglio and first-year guard Giolibeth Perez. Maine came back with points from first-year guard Naira Caceres, first-year forward Laia Sole and fourth-year forward Sheraton Jones, as they led 17-10 after one.

The second quarter started off with a three-pointer from first-year guard Julie Brosseau, followed by a layup from Sole to increase Maine’s lead to 12 points. Stony Brook would go on a 10-0 run at that point, with six points coming from second-year guard Davion Wingate and two each from Perez and Bayne-Walker.

“I don’t think we played as well in the first half than we did in the second half, but that mini run we had shows that we have the ability to score a lot of points when we need to,” Wingate said.

Maine fought off the scare as Wadling converted two baskets and Sutton made one of her own before Bayne-Walker made a layup to cut the margin back to six. Going into halftime, the Black Bears held onto a 28-22 advantage.

The Seawolves kept their fight alive in the third quarter, as Bayne-Walker and Wingate provided the first 17 of their team’s points. A couple minutes after they closed the deficit to tie the game at 28 all, Wingate hit a clutch deep range shot to give them a momentary one-point lead.

“No question they were on fire in that quarter and we were doing everything we could defensively to keep them out of good shooting opportunities. I’m pleased with the energy this team played with and hopefully we can use that the next time we’re on the court,” Maine Interim Head Coach Amy Vachon said.

Both teams would go back and forth for the duration of the quarter, making this an exciting one. Maine claimed points from six different players, including Sole with four, Brosseau and Caceres with three each and Wadling, Jones and Koizar with two apiece.

Stony Brook’s Bayne-Walker had a whopping 11 points in the quarter, along with Wingate who had six and third-year guard Aaliyah Worley who contributed five of her own. No one had a lead after 30 minutes of play, as the game was tied 44-44.

The final quarter started with a bang for the Seawolves, as Scognamiglio hit a three-pointer to give her team the biggest lead of the day. Maine came back quickly with a layup from Koizar and a deep range shot from Brosseau, only for Wingate to tie it up again with two free throws.

Sutton reclaimed a slim lead for the Black Bears with a layup, then fourth-year forward Elizabeth Manner contributed her first points of the day to knot it up once again. Stony Brook got the next four points from their top two scorers, Bayne-Walker and Wingate and it was truly anyone’s game the rest of the way.

Koizar was unreal in the period as she scored 14 points. Other Black Bears to score were Sutton with five, Brosseau with three and Jones with one. For Stony Brook, Wingate led with seven points, along with Bayne-Walker and Scognamiglio with five each and Manner with four. Regulation was not enough to decide a victor and the game was sent into overtime with a 67-67 score.

“I felt great out there and my teammates encouraged me to take every shot I could. They played us extremely well and this is a good test for us if we want to extend this winning streak,” Koizar said.

The extra period began with Bayne-Walker fouling out of the game, which was a big loss for Stony Brook. Sutton converted the ensuing two free throws and made a three-pointer for good measure to truly put this one away.

“I was pretty disappointed when that happened because I feel like I let my team down. I just have to be more aware out there when I’m playing with four fouls,” Bayne-Walker said.

Maine also got points from Koizar, Sole and Brosseau, who all had two points in the five-minute frame, while Perez had three and Worley had one for Stony Brook.
The game’s leading scorer was Bayne-Walker with 25 points, followed by Koizar with 21, Wingate with 19, Sutton with 16, Brosseau with 11 and Sole with 10. In a back and forth contest that took more than regulation to decide, the Black Bears fought hard and came away with a 78-71 victory.
“They’re a good offensive team and it’s tough to match up with them on their home court. We have to stay away from giving them a lot of second chance opportunities, but that doesn’t take away from the great effort we had today,” Stony Brook Head Coach Caroline McCombs said.

Women’s basketball gives it a fight, but not enough against New Hampshire

Maine had looked strong during its three-game winning streak and they sought to avenge a 50-44 loss earlier in the season to the University of New Hampshire that occurred on Thursday, Jan. 19. The Black Bears were overmatched for the most part against the Wildcats, who took home a 65-57 win. Maine dropped to 15-14 on the season, while New Hampshire improved to 22-4.

Third-year guard Brittni Lai opened the scoring by making a layup and the Wildcats added on to their early lead with a three-pointer from third-year guard Olivia Healy. Maine claimed its first points with a layup from first-year guard Millan, but the Black Bears would be unable to climb within a tie in the first 10 minutes.
“A good start is what we wanted and we used that momentum throughout the game. They’re a good team and they definitely gave us all they had,” Lai said.

New Hampshire’s third-year center Carlie Pogue found a rhythm, as she scored a game-high eight points in the quarter with two layups, a jumper and converted two free throws. Overall, the first period saw points from nine different players, including Maine’s Sole with five, Koizar with four and Wadling with two.

The Wildcats also got production from third-year forward Kat Fogarty with four and third-year guard Aliza Simpson with one, who led 18-13 after the first.

Lai was the first to score in a quarter once again to open the second frame as she made a jumper to increase New Hampshire’s lead to seven. She hit a shot from deep range later on and the onslaught of the Wildcats’ offense was proving to be a problem for Maine.

“We were making unforced mistakes that didn’t lead to good results and that’s why they had several opportunities to open the margin. We let them dictate what shots we took and that’s not something you want to deal with on offense,” Maine Interim Head Coach Amy Vachon said.

That would soon be true as the Wildcats would make the most of their opportunities and really open up the game when fourth-year guard Kristen Anderson made a three-pointer to give her team the biggest lead of the game at 14 points.

With Maine having a difficult time scoring points and stopping New Hampshire from scoring, they were able to get contribution from Sutton with four points, Sole with three and Koizar and first-year forward Tihana Stojsavljevic with two each.

The Wildcats got a total of five from Lai in the quarter, along with Pogue who had five, third-year center Morgan Bassett-Smith with four, fourth-year guard Kristen Anderson with three and third-year guard Peyton Booth with two as they led 37-24 at halftime.

Out of the gate to start the third quarter, Healy made a layup to increase New Hampshire’s largest lead of the game to 15 points. When it looked as if Maine didn’t have much of a chance to climb back into this one, they showed some promise anyway.

Koizar, Millan and first-year forward Anita Kelava would combine for a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to six points, including a three-pointer from Millan, which was Maine’s first successful one of the contest. Millan especially displayed a hot hand in the quarter as she led all players with 12 points, which included four layups.

“I felt like every time I had the ball in that quarter I could score, I just wish that could’ve helped us win. They’re a good team and they’ve played well all season, they were just a little too much for us today,” Millan said.

Maine was able to hold New Hampshire from sustaining another lengthy double-digit lead, but was still down after three quarters, 53-44. Wildcats to score in the frame were Healy with eight, Pogue with four and Lai and Fogarty with two apiece.

After Koizar hit two free throws to open the fourth quarter and made it a seven-point game, both sides were unable to score by any means for the next four minutes of game time. Midway through, Lai made a layup, then Maine went on a 6-0 run with a three-pointer from Brosseau, then a layup and foul shot from Koizar to cut it down to four points.

The Black Bears could not get any closer despite a great effort and fell for the first time at home to a conference opponent since January 2015. Those to score in the quarter were Koizar with a total of seven and Sole and Brosseau with three each. Wildcats to contribute were Lai with five, Pogue, Healy and second-year forward Ashley Storey with two apiece and Anderson with one.

Leading scorers of the game were Pogue and Koizar with 19 each, Lai and Millan with 14 apiece, Healy with 13 and Sole with 11 in New Hampshire’s 65-57 victory.
“I thought we did a good job establishing separation with their defenders down the court, which gave us chances to make open shots and we certainly took advantage of that,” New Hampshire Head Coach Maureen Magarity said.

Women’s basketball falls short against Albany

Maine looked to take the season series against Albany after previously defeating them on Sunday, Jan. 22 with a score of 84-71. The Black Bears fell behind early and could not take a lead at any point in this one as the Great Danes won 64-60. Maine dropped to .500 once again on the year at 15-15 and Albany improved to 16-11.
Just nine seconds into the first possession for Albany, fourth-year guard Bailey Hixson hit a three-pointer for the early lead and only a minute later redshirt third-year Jessica Féquière made one of her own.

The Black Bears got their first points from Wadling with a layup, but overall had trouble keeping up with the Great Dane offense in the opening 10 minutes when they faced a deficit as large as 11 points.

Koizar was able to contribute a team-leading six points, along with Wadling and Brosseau with three and Sole with two.

Albany got five more points from Hixson, followed by second-year forward Heather Forster and third-year center Tiana-Jo Carter with four each, fourth-year guard Imani Tate with two and first-year guard Mackenzie Trpcic with one as they led 22-14 after the first.

One player from each team quickly reached the double-digit point total for the game, as Koizar made a jumper and a layup to go up to ten points and Hixson made a deep range shot to increase her total to 11 points. Maine tried to cut down the deficit, as Sole made two free throws midway through the second to trim the margin to four points.

Albany wouldn’t let down and increased its lead once again, as Carter and Tate combined for three consecutive layups. Brosseau made her second three-pointer of the quarter, but only for Hixson to make a layup before the half ended.

Those to score in the quarter were Brosseau with six, Koizar with four, Sole with two, Hixson with five, Carter with four and Forster and Tate with two each. The Great Danes were comfortable at the midway point, leading 35-26.

The third quarter began with a layup from Forster to give her team back an 11-point lead and Wadling had one of her own before Féquière made a jumper to give Maine no hope of putting together a string of points.

Koizar hit a three to cut the deficit to eight points, which was one of three she made in the period. Both teams were going back and forth with successful field goal attempts and the margin didn’t get any smaller than seven points.

Point distribution was covered by a total of 11 players in the quarter, with five coming from Maine and six from Albany. Koizar led the Black Bears with nine points, Brosseau with five, Wadling with four, Millan with two and Caceres with one.

Great Danes to score were Forster with six, fourth-year guard Cassandra Edwards with five, Carter with three and Féquière, Hixson and redshirt third-year guard Bose Aiyalogbe with two apiece. This was not out of reach for Maine, who was down 55-47 after three.

The Black Bears looked fierce to begin the final quarter, as Koizar started a potential comeback with a three-pointer, then Caceres made two consecutive shots with a layup and a jumper to cut the deficit to just one point with under eight minutes remaining.

That’s as close as it would get, where the Great Danes scored five straight points and Koizar made another three, but Maine just couldn’t find a way to take the lead. First-year guard Khepera Stokes scored her first points of the day with a layup and Sutton made a three-pointer with 3:17 to go, but Maine wouldn’t score again for the remainder of the game.

Albany got its last points with just ten seconds left from Féquière who made two free throws, which settled the deal. Koizar led the quarter with six points, along with Caceres with four and Sutton with three. Féquière had five for the Great Danes, while Tate and Stokes each had two.

The leading scorer of the contest was Koizar with a whopping 25 points, followed by Hixson with 15, Brosseau with 14, Carter with 11 and Féquière and Forster with 10 each. In a game where Maine was down by as many as 13 and cut it down to as little as one, they couldn’t muster a lead in their 64-60 loss.

Maine returns to action on Sunday, Feb. 26 at home at 1 p.m. against Binghamton University. The University at Albany plays next on Thursday, Feb. 23 on the road at 7 p.m. against the University of Vermont.

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