BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The Maine Black Bears shot 49 percent from the floor en route to a 66-50 women’s basketball victory over the Long Island University Blackbirds Friday night.
The Bears have started the season with three straight wins entering a 1 p.m. Sunday matchup at Syracuse.
Guards Ashleigh Roberts and Lauren Bodine sparked the Bears with 19 and 15 points, respectively, including a 7-for-8 effort from the floor for Roberts and a sizzling 5-for-7 performance from 3-point land for Bodine.
Courtney Anderson and Liz Wood each chipped in with eight points for Maine while Sophie Weckstrom notched four assists. Sigi Koizar contributed with six rebounds and three assists.
The Blackbirds entered the game enjoying a 9-rebound margin over their opponents, but the Bears went on to outrebound LIU 41-30.
Cleandra Roberts paced LIU (0-3) with 18 points and eight rebounds and Sophie Bhasin chipped in with 10 points.
The Bears of the America East conference turned in a strong defensive effort as well, holding the Blackbirds of the Northeast Conference to a 27.6 percent shooting effort (16 of 58) from the floor.
The Bears surged to a 33-23 halftime lead thanks to scoring runs of 7-0 and 9-2 in the final 10 minutes.
LIU took a 12-8 lead with 10:28 left in the half, but Anderson and Roberts hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Maine a 14-12 edge with 7:42 left.
Fanny Cavallo hit a jumper for LIU and Kelly Robinson followed with a layup, but then the Bears responded with a Bodine 3-pointer, another Roberts’ 3-pointer, followed by a layup by her and a Mikaela Gustafsson jumper for a 24-16 Maine lead with 4:06 left.
Maine went on to dominate the half’s final 3:20 with a 9-2 scoring run, punctuated by a Bodine 3-pointer at the buzzer for the 33-23 edge.
The Bears started the second half just like it finished the first when Bodine opened the scoring with a 3-pointer and Roberts followed with a layup for a 38-23 Maine lead 1:09 into the half.
Maine would go on to up the lead to its biggest margin of the game, a 45-26 advantage when Anna Heise canned a jumper off a Weckstrom pass.
The closest the Blackbirds could come from that point was closing Maine’s lead to 14 with 10:36 left.
At Waterville, Carylanne Wolfington had 23 points and finished with six rebounds to power the Colby by Thomas.
Wolfington had 16 of her points in the second half and nailed five 3-point shots to go along with 9-for-16 shooting from the field for Colby (3-1). Mia Diplock chipped in with six points, six assists, and three steals
Elizabeth Goodall and Katie McAllister both had five points for Thomas (0-4). Emilee Reynolds had a game-high 11 rebounds.
At Virginia Beach, Va. Bowdoin advanced to its fourth Division III championship in the seven seasons with the win over Christopher Newport.
Leading scorers Rachel Kennedy and Katie Riley each scored twice to spark the Polar Bears (17-3) over the Captains (21-2).
The Polar Bears advance to the NCAA title match on Sunday morning at the L.R. Hill Sports Complex in Norfolk, Va beginning at 10:30 a.m. against Salisbury, a 3-2 overtime winner over Skidmore in the other semifinal.
At Castine, Aaron Van Buren, Elias Gutierrez and Brian Getchell each scored 15 points for UMaine-Machias (4-2) and AC Ford and Floyd Higgins added 12 each to lead the Clippers by Maine Maritime Academy.
Higgins pulled down a game-high eight rebounds and Ford dished out a game-high nine assists.
Jason Hatch paced MMA (0-4) with 13 points. Tyler Chiasson added nine points and Dylan Price had eight.