MAINE vs. BINGHAMTON
Time, site: Saturday, 1 p.m., Alfond Arena, Orono
Records: Maine 3-13 (1-3 America East), Binghamton 9-7 (2-1)
Series, last meeting: Maine leads 10-8, Maine 55-51 on 2/21/10
Key players: Maine — 5-11 G Amber Smith (10.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.4 spg, .778 FT pct.), 5-9 G Ashleigh Roberts (10.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.1 apg), 5-9 G Katelyn Vanderhoff (8.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.1 apg, 2.1 spg), 5-11 G Tanna Ross (7.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg), 6-4 C Ali Nalivaika (4.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.9 bpg), 5-7 G Brittany Williams (2.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg); Binghamton — 5-6 G Andrea Holmes (14.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.1 apg, 2.3 spg), 6-0 F Viive Rebane (11.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg), 5-8 G Jasbriell Swain (9.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.2 spg), 6-0 G Orla O’Reilly (9.3 ppg), 5-10 F Kara Elofson (9.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg)
Outlook: The Bears open the “Fandemonium” doubleheader looking for their third win in the last six games. UMaine is coming off Wednesday’s 65-50 loss to Albany during which it again struggled in the second half. The Bears continue to seek consistency at both ends of the court, but especially on defense. They are looking to re-establish their on-court chemistry with freshman forwards Nalivaika and Druding seeing more playing time. The Bearcats had won three straight prior to Wednesday’s 55-38 loss at Maryland Baltimore County during which they were held under 30 percent shooting. UMaine must check out on the boards against Binghamton, which leads the league in rebounding margin (plus-7.7) in AE game. The Bearcats also average only 11.7 turnovers, so the Bears can’t afford to continue their turnover woes.
MAINE vs. BINGHAMTON
Time, site: Saturday (30 mins. after women’s game), Alfond Arena, Orono
Records: Maine 9-7 (3-1 America East), Binghamton 6-10 (3-0)
Series, last meeting: Binghamton leads 12-8, Maine 61-49 on 2/6/10
Key players: Maine — 6-7 F Troy Barnies (13.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg, .536 FG pct.), 6-3 G Gerald McLemore (11.5 ppg), 6-3 G Terrance Mitchell (11.2 ppg, .456 3-pt. FG pct.), 6-7 F Murphy Burnatowski (8.7 ppg), 6-1 G Raheem Singleton (8.5 ppg, 4.2 apg), 6-7 F Alasdair Fraser (5.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg); Binghamton — 6-8 F Greer Wright (15.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.1 apg), 6-7 F Mahoamoud Jabbi (9.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.5 bpg, .541 3-pt. FG pct.), 6-6 F Moussa Camara (8.9 ppg), 6-2 G Chretien Lukusa (7.9 ppg), 6-0 G Jimmy Gray (6.4 ppg)
Outlook: The Bears return home for a key early-season league game against the first-place Bearcats. Today’s winner will hold the top spot in the AE standings. UMaine has won two in a row and three of four, including Wednesday’s dramatic 66-64 win at Albany. Binghamton, winner of three straight, defeated UMBC 83-75 on Wednesday but is 3-6 in road games. Defense and rebounding are likely to be the difference in this meeting of the league’s top two offensive squads. The Bears must rebound hard and get out on Binghamton’s handful of 3-point shooting threats, especially Jabbi. Barnies continues to be the driving force for UMaine, which needs to establish a good inside-outside offensive blend to keep the Bearcats off-balance. The Bears need point guard Singleton to remain under control handling the ball to take advantage of both his scoring and ball-distribution skills.