MAINE vs. ALBANY
Time, site: Sunday, 2 p.m., Alfond Arena, Orono
Records: Maine 15-13 (9-6), Albany 15-15 (8-7)
Series, last meeting: Maine leads 11-8, Maine 66-64 on 1/12/11
Key players: Maine — 6-7 F Troy Barnies (14.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg, .526 FG pct.), 6-3 G Gerald McLemore (13.7 ppg, .372 3-pt. FG pct.), 6-3 G Terrance Mitchell (9.3 ppg, .376 3-pt. FG pct.), 6-1 G Raheem Singleton (8.8 ppg, 3.8 apg), 6-7 F Murphy Burnatowski (6.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg), 6-7 F Sean McNally (4.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg); Albany — 6-0 G Tim Ambrose (16.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.4 spg), 6-3 G Logan Aronhalt (14.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg), 6-0 G Mike Black (11.8 ppg, 2.8 apg), 6-8 F Luke Devlin (7.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg), 6-9 Blake Metcalf (4.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg)
Outlook: Having snapped a six-game losing streak, the Black Bears want to end the regular season on a high note heading into the America East tournament next week at West Hartford, Conn. Third-seeded UMaine is coming off Tuesday’s 70-53 win at New Hampshire during which McLemore and McNally were the mainstays. The Great Danes have won three straight, including Wednesday’s 83-67 verdict over UMBC. Albany has won four of its last five games and is fighting for the No. 4 tourney seed. The Danes have built around defense and rank second in AE games, allowing 57.5 points on 37 percent FG shooting. UMaine must lock down defensively against an Albany squad that leads the league with a .383 3-pt. shooting percentage.
MAINE vs. ALBANY
Time, site: Saturday, 2 p.m., SEFCU Arena, Albany, N.Y.
Records: Maine 4-23 (2-13 America East), Albany 15-13 (8-7)
Series, last meeting: Maine leads 16-6, Albany 65-50 on 1/12/11
Key players: Maine — 5-9 G Ashleigh Roberts (10.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg), 5-11 G Amber Smith (10.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg, .821 FT pct.), 5-9 G Katelyn Vanderhoff (8.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.1 spg), 5-11 G Tanna Ross (6.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg), 6-2 F Samantha Baranowski (3.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg), 5-7 G Brittany Williams (3.1 ppg); Albany — 5-10 G/F Ebone Henry (14.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.7 spg), 5-4 G Felicia Johnson (10.2 ppg, 3.5 apg), 5-7 G Cassandra Callaway (9.6 ppg, .887 FT pct.), 6-0 F Julie Forster (9.3 ppg, 9.8 r4pg), 5-7 G Adrienne Jones (4.6 ppg)
Outlook: The Black Bears close out the regular season on the road. UMaine will be competing in next Thursday’s play-in game at the America East tournament, but could very much use an emotional shot in the arm. The Great Danes are locked into the No. 5 seed for postseason. Albany has dropped two in a row, including Sunday’s 41-40 loss to Binghamton. The Bears have to lock in defensively, accounting for 3-point shooters, and also hustle back to prevent layups in transition. UMaine, as usual, can’t afford to hand Albany extra possessions with frequent turnovers.
MAINE vs. STETSON
Time, site: Sunday, 1 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Melching Field, DeLand, Fla.
Records: Maine 0-4, Stetson 4-0
Series, last meeting: Stetson leads 4-1, Stetson 13-5 in 2005
Key players: Maine — CF Taylor Lewis (5 RBI, 4 SB), RF Colin Gay (.400, 2 RBI, 2 SB), 3B Alex Calbick (.389), RF Pat Thibodeau (.375, 1 RBI), 1B Joey Martin (.278, 1 HR, 7 RBI); Stetson — Nick Rickles (.538, 1 HR, 4 RBI), Jeff Simpson (.500, 3 RBI), Trey Blackman (.417, 1 RBI), Ryan Lashley (.333, 4 RBI)
Possible pitching matchup, Game 1: Maine RH Jeff Gibbs (0-1, 12.00 ERA, 3 K’s) vs. Stetson RH Will Dorsey (1-0, 1.50)
Outlook: The Black Bears’ southern trip got off to a tough start Friday when they were snowed in and unable to get to Florida for Saturday’s scheduled series opener. UMaine departs Portland on Saturday evening and is schedule to arrive at 1 p.m. for Sunday’s 1 p.m. nine-inning game at Stetson. UMaine looks to establish its pitching after the staff struggled considerably, giving up 41 runs in four games last weekend at Nevada-Las Vegas. The Bears did average nearly eight runs per game. Stetson started strong, including a three-game sweep of Georgia. The Hatters, who feature a sparkling 2.13 team ERA, edged Bethune-Cookman 4-3 in 11 innings on Wednesday.
Hockey East Quarterfinals
MAINE vs. NO. 10 PROVIDENCE COLLEGE
Time, site: Saturday, 2 p.m., Schneider Arena, Providence, R.I.
Records: Maine 12-16-5 (6-12-3 HE); Providence 21-11-1 (12-8-1)
Series, last meeting: PC leads 30-2-9, Maine 3-2 on 1/3/11
Key players: Maine — RW Brittany Dougherty (14 goals, 12 assists), LW Jennie Gallo (14 & 11), RW Myriam Croussette (13 & 11), LW Daniell Ward (11 & 13), D Chloe Tinkler (2 & 10), D Ashley Norum (1 & 11), G Brittany Ott (10-14-4, 2.43 GAA, .922 save pct.); Providence — LW Kate Bacon (16 & 13), C Alyse Ruff (6 & 18), RW Corinne Buie (10 & 13), D Jennifer Friedman (6 & 15), C Ashley Cottrell (13 & 6), D Amber Yung (1 & 14), G Genevieve Lacasse (20-9-1, 1.80, .941)
Outlook: The third-seeded Friars have won four straight after losing three in a row and have one of the nation’s top goaltenders in Lacasse, who missed the two-game series split in Orono in January while playing for the Canadian Under-22 team. Maine is riding a high after going 2-1-1 against the league’s top two seeds, Boston College and Boston University, to earn the sixth and final seed. Maine must manage the puck efficiently and not turn it over in dangerous areas like the offensive blue line and the neutral zone. The Bears must also be tenacious in all three zones and not give the Friars much time and space with the puck. Maine has to get traffic in front of Lacasse and get her out of her comfort zone. The Black Bears will need an outstanding performance from Ott, who has had a stellar season.