Late Charge Leads Black Bears Past Bulls, 58-53
ORONO, ME – For the second straight day a strong performance by the opposition in the second half led to a UB defeat. The Bulls had a seven-point halftime lead, but fell to Maine, 58-53, in the consolation round of the Dead River Classic at Maine's Alfond Arena. The loss drops UB to 1-4 on the season.
The first half was a low scoring one for much of the opening 20 minutes. Both the Bulls and Black Bears had long scoring droughts as the two teams combined for just 16 points over the first 12:20 of the game as Maine led 10-6. That is when the UB freshmen decided to pick it up. Abby Dowd, who started for the third straight game, hit a long triple to pull the Bulls within one and after a Maine basket, the Bulls tied it at 12 on a three from Nicki Hopkins. Dowd then hit her second three of the run as the Bulls went back up by three, but Maine had an answer as Kristen Baker tied it up again at 15. However, the Bulls would go back ahead by three as freshman Chrissy Coopergot in the action with a three of her own. The Black Bears again tied it up at 18, but the Bulls went on 7-0 run to end the half, including five points from junior Jessica Fortman.
The Bulls got their lead up to as many as eight in the second half on a layup from Bridgette Kendricks at the 15:00 mark and continued to lead by seven with 10:26 left. Maine quickly erased that deficit with a 10-0 run over the next four minutes to take a 44-41 lead. The Bulls retied it on a three from Hopkins, but the Black Bears then went on another 8-2 run to take the lead for good. The Bulls tried to erase the six-point deficit with just 1:25 left and got a huge part of it back as Cooper converted on a four-point play as she was fouled hitting a three. After a Maine turnover, the Bulls got the ball back as Dowd went to line, hitting one of two. Two Maine free throws gave them a three-point lead as the Bulls regained possession. The Bulls settled for a two after all three-point options were exhausted and again cut the lead to one. The Black Bears again hit two free throws and were up three with just 10 seconds left. A Dowd three-point shot with four seconds left fell short and two more free throws for Maine gave it the final margin of victory at 58-53.
"We turned the ball over way too many times today," said head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald. "We gave away 26 offensive possessions because we couldn't hold on to the ball and that is inexcusable if you want to win."
The Bulls were led by 17 points and eight rebounds from Kourtney Brown. Dowd had a career-high nine points, while adding four rebounds, four assists and three steals. Kendricks hit the double figures mark in rebounds as she finished with a game-high 10 boards. She also added six points, three assists, one block and a steal. Cooper finished with seven points and two rebounds, while Hopkins had six points and two boards.
Maine was led by 18 points and six rebounds from Samantha Wheeler, who also added three assists, a block and four steals. Freshman Corinne Wellington added 12 points and four rebounds, all on the offensive end.
The Bulls remain on the road this week as they travel to Providence on Wednesday night. The contest with the Friars tips off at 7:00 pm.