BURLINGTON, Vt. — The University of Vermont Catamounts had won just one game this season entering Thursday night’s America East women’s basketball game against the University of Maine Black Bears.
But the Catamounts continued their mastery over the Black Bears as Tonya Young’s 16 points and seven rebounds and Lauren Buschman’s 14 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots led the Catamounts to their 12th consecutive win over Maine, 57-48.
Vermont improved to 2-17 overall, 2-4 in league play, while Maine suffered its third straight loss and fell to 3-15 and 1-5, respectively.
Lauren Wheeler’s 3-pointer with six minutes left triggered a 10-4 Catamount spurt that transformed a four-point lead into a 52-42 advantage with two and a half minutes remaining.
Buschman had four free throws during the run and Young had a free throw and a layup to cap it.
Maine cut the lead to 52-46 with 1:01 remaining on baskets by Samamtha Baranowski and Ashleigh Roberts.
Roberts missed a free throw after her basket and the Black Bears missed a couple of 3-pointers before Wheeler hit a free throw and Young sank a pair to ice it.
UVM used a 10-point run in the first half to take a lead it would never relinquish.
Young had five of the 10 points as Vermont built a 15-5 lead.
Vermont took a 25-21 lead into the intermission.
Maine’s Tanna Ross nailed a 3-pointer early in the second half to cut the lead to 29-27 but Vermont responded with seven straight points.
Ross finally ended the spurt with a basket from underneath but Wheeler hit an open 3-pointer to make it 39-29.
Ross knocked down another 3-pointer and Roberts followed it with a basket of her own to make it 39-34.
Buschman’s two free throws and Kristine Lalonde’s free throw expanded the lead to 42-34 but Roberts and Baranowski hit consecutive baskets to pull Maine within four before UVM went on its decisive 10-4 run.
Wheeler finished with 13 points and nine rebounds. Buschman went eight-for-eight from the foul line.
Freshman Roberts scored a game-high 17 points for Maine, her 10th consecutive game with 10 or more points. She also grabbed eight rebounds and made two steals.
Ross contributed eight points and six rebounds and Ali Nalivaika had three blocked shots and six points.
Vermont outrebounded Maine 50-43, including an 18-12 edge on the offensive boards.
UVM shot just 25.4 percent from the floor compared to Maine’s 34.5 percent. But UVM went 23-for-34 from the foul line while Maine went 6-for-14. UVM went 4-for-19 from beyond the three-point arc while Maine connected on only two of 13.
The Maine women, still without All-America East third-team forward Samantha Wheeler (concussion) who led the team in points (10.8 per game) and rebounds (7.2) a year ago, return home to play Stony Brook on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Alfond Arena in Orono.