MAINE vs. STONY BROOK
Time, site: Saturday, 11 a.m. (ESPNU), Pritchard Gymnasium, Stony Brook, N.Y.
Records: Maine 14-10 (8-4 America East), Stony Brook 10-14 (5-7)
Series, last meeting: Maine leads 16-8, Maine 70-59 on 1/22/11
Key players: Maine — 6-7 F Troy Barnies (14.2 ppg, 7.7 rpg, .531 FG pct.), 6-3 G Gerald McLemore (13.6 ppg, .391 3-pt. FG pct., .827 FT pct.), 6-3 G Terrance Mitchell (9.6 ppg, .391 3-pt. FG pct.), 6-1 G Raheem Singleton (9.2 ppg, 4.0 apg), 6-7 F Murphy Burnatowski (7.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg), 6-7 F Alasdair Fraser (5.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg, .550 FG pct.); Stony Brook — 6-1 G Brian Dougher (13.3 ppg, 2.3 apg, .873 FT pct.), 6-0 G Marcus Rouse (8.4 ppg), 6-2 G Dave Coley (7.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg), 6-9 F Danny Carter (5.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg), 6-7 F Dallis Joyner (5.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg)
Outlook: UMaine needs to regain its defensive swagger and halt its three-game losing streak. The Black Bears are coming off Thursday’s 74-65 loss at Hartford that has them fighting Boston University for second place in the AE standings. If BU beats Hartford on Saturday, the Bears drop to third. UMaine’s recent woes have stemmed from subpar defense, especially against 3-point shooters. In the last four games, the Bears have allowed 80 ppg due to 47 percent 3-point shooting (42-for-89). The Seawolves beat New Hampshire 63-56 on Wednesday and have won three of their last five. Stony Brook has been a solid defensive club, allowing 57.8 ppg on 38 percent shooting in league games. However, the Seawolves have scored only 57.5 ppg and don’t shoot free throws well (.615). The Bears will be tested by a guard-oriented squad that thrives on transition opportunities.
MAINE vs. STONY BROOK
Time, site: Saturday, 2 p.m., Pritchard Gymnasium, Stony Brook, N.Y.
Records: Maine 3-21 (1-11 America East), Stony Brook 4-19 (1-10)
Series, last meeting: Stony Brook leads 12-9, Stony Brook 73-70 on 1/23/11
Key players: Maine — 5-9 G Ashleigh Roberts (10.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.1 spg), 5-11 G Amber Smith (10.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.3 spg, .823 FT pct.), 5-9 G Katelyn Vanderhoff (8.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.1 apg, 1.8 spg), 5-11 G Tanna Ross (6.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg), 6-4 C Ali Nalivaika (4.8 ppg, 1.8 bpg, 5-7 G Brittany Williams (2.5 ppg, 1.2 spg); Stony Brook — 5-10 F Kirsten Jeter (13.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.7 apg, 3.0 spg), 6-1 F/C Destiny Jacobs (8.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg), 5-7 G Sam Landers (8.5 ppg, 2.8 apg), 5-10 G/F Whitney Davis (4.7 ppg), 5-6 G Tamiel Murray (4.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.9 spg)
Outlook: The last-place Black Bears are looking for something to build on as they try to halt a nine-game losing skid. UMaine has played a bit better defensively in recent games, but continues to give up far too many 3-pointers. The Bears know they can play with the eighth-place Seawolves based on the first meeting, so good defense, determined rebounding and ball security could be a winning formula. This game is shaping up to be the play-in contest to open the America East tournament next month. Stony Brook is offensively challenged and has lost four straight, but has been competitive. Jeter is a dominating, all-around force, but the Bears must be able to handle the Seawolves’ combination of frontcourt quickness and strength in the post. Controlling the pace and limiting transition opportunities are other keys for UMaine.