TOWSON, Md. — Danielle Walczak (Lee, N.H.) poured in a career-high 20 points for the Black Bears but it was not enough as the University of Maine women’s basketball (1-11) team dropped a 69-64 decision at Towson (6-5) on Sunday afternoon.
Ashleigh Roberts (Wilmington, Del.) added 15 points while Liz Wood (Catlett, Va.) tallied her second career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Dominique Johnson led the Tiger attack with 20 points as Tanisha McTiller added a double-double with 15 points and 16 rebounds. Maine finished the game 26-for-66 from the field (39.4 percent) while Towson shot 39.6 percent.
Towson went 21-for-36 from the free throw line while the Black Bears were 8-for-12. Each team totaled 42 rebounds.
The Black Bears trailed 4-0 early before going on an extended 16-2 run to take a 10-point lead midway through the first half. Courtney Anderson (Greene, Maine) started the run with a backdoor cut which led to a layup before Sophie Weckström (Espoo, Finland) knocked down a 3-pointer. Working inside, Walczak hit a turnaround jumper in the paint, completing Maine’s 7-0 run.
Following a Towson make, Roberts hit a 3 before a Towson turnover turned into a fastbreak layup for Wood. Next time down the court, Wood controlled the ball at the top of the key before finding Weckström on a backdoor cut for two.
Maine ended its 16-2 run as Anderson drew the defense down low before kicking a quick pass across to the opposite block to a wide-open Walczak for a pair.
Towson answered Maine’s early run with a lengthy run of its own, cutting Maine’s lead down to just two on a jumper from Michelle Peebles. With just five seconds remaining in the half, Anderson’s 3 from the top of the key gave the Black Bears a 35-30 lead.
Maine shot 40.5 percent from the field in the opening half led by Walczak’s 10 points on 5-for-8 shooting. Roberts chipped in eight points and a first-half-high six rebounds as the Black Bears outrebounded Towson 26-17.
Towson began the second half on a 10-4 run as Ciara Webb’s shot from behind the arc gave the Tigers a 40-39 lead just under three minutes into the half.
Trailing by three, Maine worked the ball around its offense before finding Weckström for three on the left wing to knot the game at 46-all.
Towson responded with a 5-0 run, started from another 3-point shot from Webb, to take a 53-48 lead with 8:51 to play in the second half.
Down by four, Maine responded with a 7-0 run to regain a three-point lead with just under five minutes to play in regulation. Wood began the run with a dribble drive from the top of the key before kissing the ball off glass for two.
Working off an inbounds play on the baseline next time down, Roberts hit a jumper off a screen and got fouled. After a made free throw, Roberts and Maine pulled down another defensive board as Roberts raced coast to coast for a layup, giving Maine a 58-55 lead.
The Tigers bounced back with a 7-0 run over the next 1:46, including five points from Webb, to take a 62-58 lead with just over three minutes to play.
Maine cut the lead to a pair late on a turnaround on the right block from Walczak, giving the sophomore 20 points in the game, but the Tigers knocked down their free throws in the remaining 30 seconds to take the contest.
The Black Bears return to action Jan. 1 when they face Virginia Commonwealth at 2 p.m. in Richmond, Va.