Roberts scores 1,000th point, UMaine women’s basketball team dominates UMBC

UMaine's Liz Wood puts up a shot over Maryland Baltimore County's Bridget O'Donnell while UMaine's Mikaela Gustafsson battles for position in the first half of a game Wednesday night at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
Joe McLaughlin
UMaine's Liz Wood puts up a shot over Maryland Baltimore County's Bridget O'Donnell while UMaine's Mikaela Gustafsson battles for position in the first half of a game Wednesday night at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Buy Photo
Posted Jan. 08, 2014, at 9:33 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 08, 2014, at 10:47 p.m.
Ashleigh Roberts
UMaine athletics
Ashleigh Roberts

BANGOR, Maine — Ashleigh Roberts has made a name for herself at the University of Maine with her aggressive drives to the basket.

On Wednesday night, the senior guard from Wilmington, Del., followed the lead of her teammates, attacking from the 3-point line.

Roberts buried a 3-pointer in the second half for the 1,000th point of her career and the Black Bears made a dozen 3-pointers in a 68-39 America East women’s basketball rout of Maryland Baltimore County at the Cross Insurance Center.

Roberts finished with 12 points, a team-high seven rebounds and four assists while becoming the 17th player in program history to reach 1,000 points.

“There’s a lot more exciting things going on besides my 1,000th point,” she said after the game. “I am excited that I scored it and I feel like it’s a great accomplishment, but I feel like I wasn’t very focused on it.”

Coach Richard Barron’s Black Bears (7-8, 1-1 AE) had their shots dialed in early while ending a three-game losing streak.

The Bears were without sixth-year point guard Cherrish Wallace, who was held out to address an undisclosed eligibility issue.

“The University of Maine was made aware of a potential eligibility issue for women’s basketball student-athlete Cherrish Wallace late [Wednesday] afternoon,” read a UMaine statement. “We were not able to get to a resolution prior to the start of [the] game. Without this information, we did not want to jeopardize Cherrish’s eligibility or the result of the game. We expect a quick resolution.”

Wallace had averaged 11.5 points and 4.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds in her first two games with the team.

In a stellar first-half shooting effort, UMaine knocked down nine 3-pointers.

“We got off to a really good start. We certainly were hitting our 3’s,” said Barron, who was pleased with his team’s execution in other areas.

“We were taking care of the ball, we were moving the ball well and we were doing a good job on the boards,” he added, also pointing to the Bears’ defense as a key factor.

“I think we did a good job of disrupting what they were doing, defensively,” Barron added.

Sophomore Liz Wood paced the Bears with 17 points, while classmate Lauren Bodine tallied eight. Chantel Charles (4 assists, 3 steals) and Anna Heise added six points each.

Former Stearns of Millinocket star Sigi Koizar dished out six of UMaine’s 24 assists — on 26 field goals. The Bears wound up shooting 12-for-32 (38 percent) from the 3-point line.

Taylor McCarley led UMBC (2-12, 1-1 AE) with a game-high 16 points, nine of which came from the foul line. She also grabbed six rebounds.

Liz McNaughton scored 11 points, while Bridget O’Donnell provided five points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots.

“I think Maine played really well tonight,” said UMBC coach Phil Stern. “They made a lot of shots, obviously, and we certainly didn’t help matters by leaving people open.”

Roberts’ 1,000th point came with 11:42 to play when she took a kick-out pass from Koizar and hit a 3 from the left corner.

“It was always a goal of mine coming into college,” said Roberts, who is the first 1,000-point scorer since Bracey Barker of Bar Harbor and Ashley Underwood of Benton accomplished the feat, in the same game, against UMBC in 2007.

UMaine connected for nine 3-pointers in the first half, with at least one by six different players, on its way to a commanding 45-21 halftime advantage.

The Bears shot 41 percent (9-for-23) from long distance, including six during a momentum-building 24-2 run that gave them a 34-9 lead with 9:52 left in the half.

“That was fun,” Wood said. “I first eight minutes I think we were 8-for-12 from the 3-point line. It was crazy.”

UMaine exhibited crisp ball movement, racking up 17 assists on 18 made baskets. Koizar handed out five of those assists.

Seven players had at least one 3-pointer for UMaine, which shot 4-for-20 from the arc after the initial surge.

“I think we got a little 3-happy after that, but when you’re making that many, it’s hard not to,” Wood said.

Wood opened the decisive burst with a 3-pointer off a Charles pass, then Koizar fed Heise for a reverse baseline layup. Charles got into the act with a 3, before UMBC’s McCarley ended the run with an eight-foot runner.

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