BANGOR — The final score may not indicate it, but the Husson University women’s basketball team had its hands full Saturday afternoon.
The Eagles raced out to a 14-point halftime lead only to see a scrappy UMaine-Presque Isle team fight back and close within nine on two occasions.
But Bangor High product Stephanie Comstock was too much for the Owls, as the 6-foot freshman scored 16 points in 18 minutes to power coach Kissy Walker’s club to a 69-50 victory at the Paul Bunyan Classic at Newman Gym.
Husson won its second straight game to improve to 2-3 while UMPI drops to 1-4.
Comstock led three Eagles in double figures, as Brianna Hanscom tallied 15 points and Bethany Sevey 12 more on 5-for-11 shooting while Hanscom was 9 of 13 from the foul line.
Bates College of Lewiston rolled past the University of Maine-Fort Kent 83-24 in the first game of the afternoon.
Husson and Bates both won Friday games in the Bunyan Classic.
In the second game, Husson’s inside presence was too much for UMPI, as Comstock enjoyed her best output of the young season.
“I think that when we got it down inside they got more tired than we did,” said Comstock, who also hauled down six rebounds.
The Eagles were held without a field goal over a 10-minute stretch in the second half as the Owls used toughness on the glass and some clutch perimeter shooting to close the gap.
“Presque Isle shot the ball very well and they worked very hard so I give them a lot of credit,” said Walker. “We just weren’t able to really pull away from them like maybe you’d anticipate.”
Consecutive perimeter shots from Emily Pelletier and Emily Moore drew coach Tracy Guerrette’s Owls within 48-39 with 11:05 remaining in regulation, prompting Walker to call a timeout and the Eagles eventually got back to basics.
“Just getting the ball into the post and maybe taking it back out, getting a lot of touches around the perimeter,” said Hanscom.
Sevey restored Husson’s lead into double figures with a long jumper from the left corner after the timeout, and after two Rashell Saucier free throws got UMPI within nine again, Marissa Albert followed with two of her own, and Husson’s advantage was never lower than 10 points the rest of the way.
In fact, the Eagles would finish the game on a 19-10 run, with most of their baskets coming within 12 feet of the hoop.
“We had to come out stronger, they powered down on us, especially in the first half, we had to keep pounding it,” Comstock said.
Husson raced out to a 20-4 lead barely six minutes into the contest, and Comstock scored eight of her points in a four-minute span to help the Eagles maintain that advantage up until halftime.
Walker is hoping to get more key minutes out of Comstock as the season progresses.
“There are a couple other kids and Steph that we want to keep getting more and more minutes because I think they’re going to be the key down the stretch,” Walker said.
Another second-half difference proved to be Husson’s free-throw shooting, as the Eagles were 12 of 16 from the line in the final 20 minutes.
Pelletier, a Fort Kent product, was 3 of 5 from beyond the arc en route to 11 points for UMPI while Saucier also had 11, while Megan Korhonen had nine and Julie Peers eight.
In the first game, Bates raced out to a 47-12 lead at halftime and never looked back against an undermanned UM-Fort Kent squad.
Three players scored in double figures for the Bobcats, with Taryn O’Connell, Meredith Kelly and Brianna Hawkins each tallying 10 points, while Lauren Dobish and Kelsey Flaherty had nine and Jessie Igoe, Susan Russell and Allie Beaulieu eight apiece. Igoe also had seven rebounds.
Bates shot a robust 47 percent (34-71) from the floor.
Leading the Bengals was Maliesha Caesar with seven points
Bates’ Kelly was named the classic’s Most Valuable Player, while Hanscom, Igoe, Jen Colpitts of UMFK and Pelletier were named to the All-Classic team.