MAINE vs. HARVARD
Time, site: Saturday, noon, Alfond Arena, Orono
Records: Maine 0-0 (8-21 last season), Harvard 0-0 (20-9)
Series, last meeting: Maine leads 6-4; Harvard 72-56 on 11/17/09
Key players: Maine — 6-0 F Samantha Wheeler (10.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg), 5-9 G Katelyn Vanderhoff (6.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.2 apg, 2.1 spg), 6-3 F Samantha Baranowski (4.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg), 6-2 C Corinne Wellington (5.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg), 5-10 F Tanna Ross (6.7 ppg), G Ashley Roberts (1st season); Harvard — 6-3 F Emma Markley (14.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.7 bpg), 6-0 G Victoria Lippert (13.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg, .824 FT pct.), 5-8 G Brogan Berry (11.9 ppg, 5.8 apg), 5-8 G Christine Matera (10.3 ppg), 5-11 G Jackie Alemany (5.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.6 spg)
Outlook: Coach Cindy Blodgett’s Black Bears draw a tough opener against the Crimson. Harvard returns its entire roster off a squad that went to the WNIT last season. UMaine is trying to develop cohesiveness at both ends of the floor and faces a team that is deep and laden with upperclass leadership. Harvard made 205 3-pointers last season. The game also is a homecoming for former UMaine standout Missy Traversi (2001-05), who is a first-year assistant coach for Harvard. Kristan Strout of Bangor, a graduate of Stonehill College, is in her fourth season as the Crimson’s director of basketball operations for head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith.