ORONO, Maine — With the loss of two senior starters from its frontcourt, the University of Maine women’s basketball team is looking to re-establish an inside presence this season.
Samantha Baranowski and Corinne Wellington showed Sunday that they’re hoping to take on that responsibility.
Baranowski scored 26 points and snatched 10 rebounds while Wellington provided 23 points and 11 boards during the Blue-White intrasquad scrimmage at Alfond Arena.
About 250 fans turned out to watch coach Cindy Blodgett’s Black Bear women and coach Ted Woodward’s UMaine men get in some quality preseason work on their home court.
“Today we wanted to have a game-like experience,” said sophomore guard Gerald McLemore, who showed off his smooth shooting in the men’s game, scoring 23 points.
“We wanted to come together, be more cohesive and see how we play under the lights with the fans here to watch,” he added.
In the women’s game, the post players were among the bright spots in what was a well-rounded effort.
Baranowski played with a sense of purpose and urgency. She handed out seven assists.
“I definitely feel more confident already right now and I still want to keep looking to be more aggressive,” said the 6-foot-3 sophomore. “I know I took a lot of shots today. Instead, I want to maybe be able to take a dribble and go up strong to the basket, try to get fouled, instead of pulling up.”
Wellington, a 6-3 freshman, battled hard while often squaring off against Baranowski.
“If you want the ball and you want to score, you have to demand it,” she said. “I was very excited, and kind of nervous at first, but then I got used to it.”
Senior Amanda Tewksbury contributed 15 points and a team-best 14 rebounds, while sophomore Samantha Wheeler posted 15 points and nine rebounds. Brittany Williams tallied 14 points and four assists, senior Kristin Baker of Bingham provided 12 points and eight assists and sophomore Jasmine Rush added 13 points.
Freshmen Katelyn Vanderhoff (10 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals) and Amber Smith (10 points), along with senior Katia Bratishko (8 points, 7 rebounds) also made solid contributions.
The Bears shot 43 percent from the field but committed 37 turnovers while playing two regular 20-minute halves.
Blodgett stressed a more attacking offensive philosophy.
“We get up and down the floor a little bit quicker and we’re looking to score early, which is nice,” she said. “[There was] a less pounding the ball on the floor and a little more ball movement and better movement without the ball.”
The men’s team played 20-minutes halves of running time, stopping on whistles in the last two minutes of each.
The Bears established a physical defensive tone, but couldn’t slow McLemore. He went 8-for-12 from the field, including 5-for-7 on 3-pointers.
“He’s tremendous,” Woodward said. “The kid’s got a really good chance to hopefully become one of the premier players in our league. You always need a guy like that.”
The only other double-figure scorer was 6-9 sophomore center Svetoslav Chetinov (13 points).
“He’s just huge down there and he’s very skilled,” Woodward said. “He’s able to catch the basketball and really carve out a lot of space.”
Junior Troy Barnies of Auburn scored eight points, while classmate Sean McNally of Gardiner managed seven points and five rebounds. Transfers Jerrell Boswell (8 points), Terrance Mitchell (7 points, 4 rebounds) and Trevon Wilcher (7 points, 5 rebounds) were steady.
Points guards Andrew Rogers and Ryan Martin of Wayne had four assists each and frosh Mike Allison pulled down a team-high eight boards.
“We just wanted to see some different combinations,” Woodward said. “It just gave us an opportunity to see how things are and clean things up a little bit before our exhibition next week.”
BEAR TRACKS: Freshman Rachele Burns of Gorham, who is coming off December knee surgery, played the first half but sat out the second. Freshman Shareka Maner and junior Tanna Ross of Newburgh (broken foot) missed the game with injuries … Both UMaine teams are preparing for Nov. 1 exhibition games in Orono. The women meet the University of New Brunswick at noon and the men face Laval at 2 p.m.
Williams 4-6-14, Baker 6-0-12, Rush 4-2-13, Wheeler 6-2-15, Burns 2-0-4, Tewksbury 6-2-15, Smith 5-0-10, Wellington 8-7-23, Vanderhoff 5-0-10, Baranowski 10-6-26, Bratishko 3-2-8
3-pt. goals: Rush 3, Wheeler, Tewksbury
McAllian, Boswell 3-0-8, Martin 3-0-6, Rogers 0-4-4, Bernal 2-0-4, Wilcher 3-0-7, Mitchell 3-0-7, Barnies 3-1-8, McNally 3-0-7, Burnatowski 1-0-2, Peay 0-1-1, Allison 2-0-4, Chetinov 4-5-13
3-pt. goals: Boswell 2, Wilcher, Mitchell, Barnies, McNally, McLemore 5