ALBANY, N.Y. — The University of Maine women’s basketball team was no match for the University at Albany on Saturday afternoon.
The Great Danes took advantage of their offensive balance, aggressive rebounding and strong defense to manufacture a 71-39 America East victory at SEFCU Arena.
It was the 12th consecutive loss for coach Richard Barron’s Black Bears, who fell to 1-15 overall, 0-3 in conference play.
UAlbany (12-3, 3-0 AE) shot 43 percent from the field and knocked down nine 3-pointers, placing five players in double figures in the process. The Great Danes also dominated the rebounding 46-28.
“That’s as close as anybody’s played them in the league so far,” Barron said. “And we were playing on the road.”
Lindsey Lowrie led the hosts with 12 points, six rebounds and five assists. Ebone Henry contributed 12 points, three assists and two steals, while Megan Craig tallied 12 points. Julie Forster posted a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds and Sheressha Richards provided 10 points, nine rebounds and five steals.
UMaine was paced by sophomore guard Courtney Anderson of Greene, who hit three 3-pointers on her way to 11 points and also added three assists and two steals. Freshman forward Mikaela Gustafsson tallied 10 points to match a career high and grabbed five rebounds, and Danielle Walczak chipped in with seven points and five rebounds.
Barron thought he saw some good things from his team, especially given the caliber of the Albany team the Bears were facing.
‘I thought our shot selection was pretty good. I thought our execution much of the game was good,” he said. “We did turn them over some, so that was positive.”
UMaine continued to struggle from long range, going 4-for-22 (18 percent) from 3-point range. The Bears also committed 19 turnovers.
“We had under 20 turnovers against a very tough defense,” offered Barron, who also praised the effort of Gustafsson and was happy with the limited play of Sophie Weckstrom, who was coming off an ankle injury.
The Great Danes ended the first half with an 11-2 run that gave them a comfortable lead at intermission.
With Albany leading 23-14, Henry connected for a 3-pointer with 5:21 remaining to kick off the surge. Albany’s Richards and Lauren Bodine of UMaine traded baskets, but a foul shot by Henry, Richards’ fast-break layup, and a jumper by Forster gave the Great Danes a 34-16 advantage at halftime.
The hosts then outscored UMaine 7-3 early in the second half to end the suspense.
The Black Bears are back in action Wednesday with a 7:30 p.m. league game against Boston University at Alfond Arena in Orono.