Husson University has spent the first half of the season trying to establish its identity.
Coach Kissy Walker’s Eagles played a testy nonconference schedule and emerged from Tuesday night’s North Atlantic Conference women’s basketball game against Thomas College of Waterville with a resounding 94-61 victory.
There are still many things to be worked out by Husson, mostly because its roster is laden with 17 players. Walker’s challenge is to continue to find the personnel combinations that work best while still finding enough playing time to keep her young women happy and motivated.
“It’s hard for us because we’re trying to get everybody minutes and going with all these different combinations,” Walker said.
One constant on the squad has been senior forward Shelby Bradford.
The Lee native continues to impress with her efficient, intense play, often dominating frontcourt opponents who are much taller.
The 5-foot-9 Bradford came into this week ranked in the top 10 in seven different NAC statistical categories. She is the league’s top scorer, averaging 17.7 points per game behind a .536 field-goal percentage that ranks second.
Bradford also is the NAC’s No. 3 rebounder (10.1 rpg), including a conference-best 5.0 offensive rebounds per contest. She is sixth in steals (2.2 per game) and defensive rebounds (5.1 per game) and ranks 10th in field-goal percentage at .696.
Bradford will again be a key for the Eagles who are gearing up for Saturday’s showdown against NAC nemesis Maine Maritime Academy at Castine.
Broomhall Cup set this weekend
Maine’s college cross country ski teams will converge on Rumford this weekend for the annual Chummy Broomhall Cup, the state’s Collegiate Nordic Ski Championships.
The meet will be held at Black Mountain, which organizers describe as the most spectator-friendly Nordic venue in Maine.
The University of Maine-Presque Isle, Colby College of Waterville, Bowdoin College of Brunswick and Bates College of Lewiston are the NCAA programs that will participate in the event, which is organized by the Maine Winter Sports Center based in Caribou.
Skiers from club teams at the University of Maine, UMaine-Fort Kent and UMaine-Farmington also will compete.
Colby is the defending Broomhall Cup champion.
“Maine colleges have a long and proud tradition of skiing,” Andy Shepard, President of the MWSC, said in a press release. “We are hoping that this event will add to that tradition.
“We are also hoping this initiative will help give the most talented student-athletes in the country another reason to look at colleges in Maine.”
The meet is named for Wendall “Chummy” Broomhall, a Rumford native, who was a two-time Olympian. He organized the Cross Country World Championships in Rumford back in 1950.
Broomhall is the catalyst for the Chisolm Ski Club at Black Mountain.
Saint Joseph’s to host first meet
The women’s swimming and diving team at Saint Joseph’s College in Standish is preparing to host its first collegiate swim meet.
The Monks will entertain Husson University of Bangor Feb. 7 at 1 p.m. in the Harold Alfond Center Pool.
Saint Joseph’s, coached by Rick Horr, started its swim program last winter and competes in the Division III Great Northeast Athletic Conference.
UMF partners with credit union
UMaine-Farmington athletics and the University Credit Union have entered into a three-year agreement that will net the department $12,000.
UCU has supported UMF athletics in the past, including installation of a flat-screen television in the school’s fitness center.
UCU opened a branch adjacent to the UMF campus in 2007. It also has branches in Bangor, Orono and Portland.