Strong defensive effort guides Maine to fourth-straight win
Orono, Maine — The University of Maine women’s basketball team (12-9, 8-1 AE) continued its recent trend of strong defensive play as the Black Bears clinched their fourth straight win with a 66-43 win over Bryant ( 7-16, 1-9 AE) on Wednesday evenings.
The contest marked the fourth straight game in which Maine has held their opponent to 50 points or fewer as the Bulldogs accumulated just 43 points, a season-low defensive performance by the Black Bears. Bryant, who shot just 28.3 percent (15 of 53) from the floor, couldn’t get more than 12 points in a quarter all night as Maine forced 12 turnovers with nine steals. For the 10th time in their last 11 games, the Black Bears won the rebound fight as the hosts snapped 43 boards to Bryant’s 30.
Maine, never lagging behind in the game, was led by Adriana Smith who registered her conference-leading 12th double-double behind 14 points and 13 rebounds. Sera Hodgson and Olivia Rockwood Each added 11 points to the win.
An even first quarter saw Maine go into the second period with an 11-10 advantage.
The Black Bears turned it on in the second, besting the Bulldogs 22-10 over the 10-minute stretch. Maine, leading by six midway through the second half, closed out the first half on an 11-4 run. Rockwood started the stretch with a three before two back-to-back buckets from Smith gave Maine a 29-18 lead for the night’s first double-digit lead. The lead increased to 14 on a Jaycie Christophers three before Maine entered halftime with a 33-20 advantage.
The Black Bears continued to charge in the third. With 14 hosts, Maine would end the third with a 6-1 run. Hodgson’s treble gave Maine a 17 lead earlier Sarah Talon cut through the lane for a pair on the buzzer and extended the lead to 51-32 after three.
Maine’s lead didn’t drop below 18 the rest of the way. Smith’s bucket early in the fourth came out as part of an early 4-0 swing Abbe Laurence Layup gave Maine its biggest lead of the night, 60-37.
The Black Bears drove through the fourth and secured their eighth conference win with a 66-43 decision over Bryant.
Maine returns to action on Saturday, February 4 when it travels to a meeting with UMBC at 2:00 p.m