BANGOR — When taking on the University of Maine-Farmington, opponents must be able to defend effectively.
The Beavers like to spread the floor and attack the basket off the dribble, which often leads to numerous free throws or open 3-pointers on the wing.
The Beavers worked that philosophy well Tuesday night while earning a 76-70 North Atlantic Conference women’s basketball victory over Husson University at Newman Gymnasium.
Erin Porter of Bangor connected for 14 of her 16 points in the second half, including a 3-pointer with 26.1 seconds left, as UMF (6-8, 4-0 NAC) won its third straight road contest.
“I think any coach in America, it doesn’t matter what conference it is, what sport it is, if you can get three road wins you’re going to definitely be happy,” said Beavers coach Jamie Beaudoin.
In the men’s game, UMaine-Farmington completed the sweep with strong rebounding and good free-throw shooting, beating Husson 82-70.
In the opener, Porter and Ashley Busque of Belgrade each scored five points in the final 3:40 to lift the Beavers to victory. UMF connected for nine 3-pointers and outscored the Eagles 21-14 from the foul line to remain unbeaten in conference play.
Busque tossed in a game-high 20 points to pace UMF while Caitlyn Laflin of Farmingdale finished with 17 points and seven rebounds. The visitors shot 45 percent from the floor, including 47 percent from 3-point range.
“Penetrate and pitch is something that we work on a lot in practice, so that’s something we take pride in doing and expect to get every game,” said Porter, a former Bangor High standout. “We’re guard-oriented.”
Lee native Shelby Bradford led the way for Husson (6-7, 2-1 NAC) with 17 points and nine rebounds. Ashley Bragdon of Newport posted 13 points and six rebounds, and Bethany Sevey of Skowhegan added 13 points.
UMF executed well down the stretch as Busque buried a 3-pointer with 3:40 left to break a 62-62 tie and put the Beavers ahead for good.
Husson eventually crept within a point on three Bragdon foul shots, but Laflin hit a 3-pointer with 1:10 to play and Porter answered two missed free throws with another 3 to make it a three-possession game.
“What’s the difference? The free-throw line,” said Husson coach Kissy Walker. “We’ve got to stop fouling.”
The Eagles had surged back into contention, tying the game with 13 unanswered points in the last 2:08 of the first half.
In the men’s game, UMF demonstrated tremendous intensity from the outset while building an early 13-point advantage and never let up.
The Beavers (4-8, 2-2 NAC) dominated the rebounding action 54-36 and made 15 of 17 free throws late to maintain the upper hand.
Finishing the game strong was important for UMF, coach Dick Meader explained.
“It’s a great win for us because we lost at Thomas Saturday where we had a lead at the 10-minute mark and we lost down at Maine Maritime having a lead most of the second half,” he said.
Pat Howell scored a game-high 19 points, grabbed nine rebounds and handed out four assists to pace UMF. Andrew Dean tossed in 17 points, Josh Tanguay contributed 10 points and 17 rebounds, and Eric Lelansky and D.J. Gerrish added 10 points each.
The Beavers went 23-for-32 from the foul line and survived despite committing 23 turnovers.
Brock Bradford of Kenduskeag paced Husson (5-9, 2-1 NAC) with 14 points, while Matt MacKenzie posted 12 points and six rebounds and Blaine Meehan of Winterport recorded 11 points, five rebounds, five steals and three assists.
“We were a little too comfortable with where we were at [in NAC play] and, as a result, they outplayed us in almost every aspect of the game,” said Husson coach Warren Caruso.
“They played with urgency. They played with a mentality that they needed that ‘W’ and we didn’t,” he added.
UMF jumped on top with a 13-1 first-half flurry. Howell scored six of those points, all in the paint, while Gerrish tallied two baskets and Dean a 3-pointer to give the Beavers an 18-5 advantage with 13:40 to play in the first half.
UMF made six 3-pointers in the first half and later pushed its lead to as many as 21 points in the second half. Husson never got closer than 11.
“Tonight we started very well,” Meader said. “We played very good defense, did a good job early on the backboards.”