BALTIMORE — The University of Maine missed 15 of its 16 shots and committed six turnovers during the last 11:57 of the first half.
Those offensive woes enabled the University of Maryland Baltimore County to build an 11-point lead on the way to a 54-50 America East women’s basketball victory at the RAC Arena on Saturday afternoon.
“It was pretty bad,” Maine coach Richard Barron told Don Shields of the Black Bear Sports Network after the game.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well at all. We didn’t shoot the ball with confidence,” he added. “I think we were 0-for-11 on 3’s in the first half.”
The Black Bears suffered their 10th consecutive loss and skidded to 1-13, extending the worst start to a season in program history.
UMaine (0-1 AE) put together a determined second-half comeback and tied the score at one point (30-30), but was unable to sustain its momentum and did not ever take the lead.
The Retrievers (5-10, 1-1 AE) responded to the Bears’ threat behind the offensive play of Bria White, who scored 12 of her team-high 15 points in the second half.
Courtney Anderson of Greene had her second straight career day to lead UMaine. The sophomore guard tossed in 17 points on the strength of three 3-pointers and made two steals.
Junior Ashleigh Roberts provided eight points and six rebounds; freshman Lauren Bodine contributed seven points and seven rebounds, and senior Corinne Wellington pulled down a game- and career-best 15 rebounds to go with six points.
Freshman Liz Wood chipped in with seven rebounds and four assists, but was 0-for-12 shooting.
The Black Bears, who shot 15 percent (4-for-27) in the first half, made 15 of 36 shots (42 percent) after the break. UMaine also outrebounded UMBC 48-37 overall and did not give up any second-chance points.
Brittany Crowell registered 12 points; Raven Harris tallied 10 points, six rebounds, three assists and five steals, and Kim Browning added seven points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots for the Retrievers.
Trailing 27-15 early in the second half, UMaine made its comeback bid. Danielle Walczak’s layup at the 16:47 mark kicked off what would be a 15-3 burst.
Two Wellington free throws and an Anderson layup cut the deficit to 27-21, before Crowell sank a foul shot. Anderson and Lauren Bodine then sandwiched 3-pointers around a layup by UMBC’s Harris before Anderson drained another 3-pointer that made it 30-30 with 12:15 remaining.
“I thought they responded well,” Barron said of his team.
“We moved the ball. We had better defensive intensity. It was a much better effort.”
Anderson’s steal on the ensuing possession gave UMaine a chance to go on top, but Wood missed a 3-pointer and Crowell countered with a layup to put the hosts back ahead for good. White scored eight of the next 11 points overall to help UMBC push the lead back to seven.
Later, Anderson scored four points during a 6-2 flurry that got the Bears within 42-41 with 5:35 left, but UMaine missed its next three shots with a chance to take the lead and White converted a conventional three-point play for UMBC.
“We’re a different team if we just make some shots,” said Barron, who pointed to the fact Walczak played only nine minutes in the first half because of foul trouble as a key problem.
“She picks up two fouls and we just looked, obviously, very lost without her out there on the floor offensively,” he said.
UMaine returns to Orono to face Hartford on Wednesday in the Bears’ first home game since Nov. 24.