AMHERST, Mass. — The University of Massachusetts surged to a 12-point lead after the first half and then outscored the Maine Black Bears 9-1 in the first two minutes of the second half on their way to a 63-54 women’s basketball victory Sunday.
The Bears outscored UMass 38-35 in the second half, but the closest they would come was an eight-point margin when Kelsey Mattice hit a 3-pointer with about two minutes left.
UMass, now 2-8, featured balanced scoring with Emile Teuscher scoring 18 points and Carolann Cloutier adding 11. Shakia Robinson and Megan Zullo each chipped in with 10 points and Jasmine Watson netted eight.
Robinson also had 16 rebounds and Cloutier had six assists.
Both teams struggled from the field as UMass shot 36 percent (22 of 61) while Maine shot 29 percent (19-66).
Ashleigh Roberts paced Maine with 10 points and five rebounds while Rebecca Knight recorded nine points and seven rebounds. Samantha Wheeler chipped in with eight points and Danielle Walczak grabbed eight rebounds.
No Maine player had more than two assists and the Bears only totaled six, compared with UMass’ 18.
The teams were about even in turnovers with UMass committing 20 and Maine 17.
Maine battled to cut into the UMass lead midway through the second half. Wheeler kept a possession alive for the Black Bears with an offensive board, kicking the ball to Roberts, who slashed with a nice take to the basket for two. The Black Bears then used an out-of-bounds play for an easy lay-in as Dillon found Walczak under the hoop. Wheeler then hit a shot in the lane to bring the score to 43-26 with 11:47 to play in the half.
The Black Bears continued to battle as Smith completed an old-fashioned three-point play before Wheeler forced a Minutewomen turnover, resulting in a jumper by Courtney Anderson to cut the lead to 46-31, jump-starting a 9-2 run for the Black Bears.
Mattice kept the Maine comeback rolling as she knocked down the Black Bears’ first three of the game to cut the UMass lead to 14. Smith drew a charge for the Black Bears that would result in a pair of made free throws by Samantha Baranowski as Maine fought back to within 12.
After each team tallied baskets, Roberts would penetrate the lane again with a nice slash and reverse layup to cut the lead to just 11 with 2:15 to play. A 3-pointer by Mattice sliced the UMass lead to eight but the Minutewomen were able to run out the clock.