BANGOR, Maine — It was an upset in the making for the better part of 45 minutes until the University of Southern Maine Huskies found their shooting touch at the foul line.
The USM women survived a game of attrition at Newman Gym on Wednesday night and overcame poor foul shooting and uncharacteristic turnovers to pull out a 79-74 double overtime victory over Husson University.
Junior guard Kaylie DeMillo scored 27 points and hit seven of nine from the line — all after halftime — to lead the 9-3 Huskies of Gorham past the 3-7 Eagles.
Before the second overtime, the Huskies shot 7-for-21 from the line.
DeMillo scored 10 after regulation and the last five USM points to go with four rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Overtime was essentially a foul-shooting contest as the teams combined for 12 free throws. That didn’t bode well for USM, which struggled from the line all game long. The Huskies’ freebie woes continued in OT as Husson made three of four and USM made two of eight.
Freshman Curran Leighton scored 23 points to go with 12 rebounds for the Huskies and Renee Nicholas of Sebago had 10 points, four assists and four steals.
Sophomore forward Brianna Hanscom of Mattawamkeag led the Eagles with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Senior forward Shelby Bradford of Lee had 15 points and 17 rebounds along with five assists and three steals before fouling out in the second overtime. Former Lee Academy teammate Amanda Gifford had 11 points, five rebounds and three steals.
The Huskies led by eight, nine and 10 points for much of the first 12 minutes of the second half, but Husson used a 7-0 run to close the gap to 48-47 with 6:41 to play.
Husson tied the game with 1:20 left on a pretty shot from the left block by Gifford off a crisp pass from Bradford on the right block.
The Huskies stormed out to a 20-9 lead midway through the first half via a 14-2 scoring run, but Husson managed to close the gap with two mini runs in the final seven minutes.
The Eagles went into halftime with just an 33-25 deficit despite being outshot 48.3 percent to 25.7 percent from the field and outrebounded 24-16.