MAINE vs. VERMONT
Time, site: Thursday, 7 p.m., Patrick Gym, Burlington, Vt.
Records: Maine 3-14 (1-4 America East), Vermont 1-17 (1-4)
Series, last meeting: Maine leads 46-30, Vermont 64-44 on 2/3/10
Key players: Maine — 5-11 G Amber Smith (11.1 pg, 4.2 rpg, 1.4 spg, .787 FT pct.), 5-9 G Ashleigh Roberts (10.2 ppg), 5-9 G Katelyn Vanderhoff (8.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.1 apg, 2.1 spg), 5-11 G Tanna Ross (6.9 ppg), 6-4 Ali Nalivaika (5.1 ppg, 2.1 bpg), 6-2 F Jaymie Druding (2.7 ppg, .481 FG pct.); Vermont — 6-2 F/C Tonya Young (10.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg, .483 FG pct.), 6-2 F/C Lauren Buschmann (8.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg), 6-0 G/F Lauren Wheeler (6.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.1 apg), 6-0 G Jasmine Cooper (5.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg), 5-10 G Kristine Lalonde (2.4 ppg, 2.9 apg)
Outlook: The Black Bears have a chance to grab a share of sixth place in the league standings by beating the Catamounts. UMaine has dropped two straight, including Saturday’s 78-52 home loss to Binghamton. The Bears want to re-establish a defensive ego in an effort to find more consistency. They have surrendered a league-high 70.2 ppg in AE play. Vermont is rebuilding under first-year coach Lori Gear McBride, who helped take Colby College to new heights in recent years. The Cats are coming off Monday’s 63-59 overtime loss at New Hampshire. In league games, UMaine ranks last in scoring (49.0 ppg) and FG pct. (.305), while UVM is second in rebounding margin at plus-4.8. Both teams have struggled with turnovers, so the squad that limits its mistakes and capitalizes on the opponents’ miscues may be able to manufacture some scoring runs.