The University of Maine women’s basketball team kept up its torrid shooting display on Wednesday evening.
The Black Bears blitzed UMass Lowell with a first-half ending 16-0 run in their second outing since head coach Richard Barron’s decision to take a medical leave of absence, and they cruised from there to a 65-44 America East victory over the River Hawks in Lowell, Massachusetts.
UMaine (9-9, 2-1 AE) picked up its second win in as may contests under interim coach Amy Vachon, and the River Hawks fell to 3-13 and 0-3, respectively.
Julie Brousseau had the hot hand in the first half as the Black Bears built a 39-15 halftime lead.
The freshman guard from Quebec was 4-for-5 from 3-point range in scoring all 12 of her points in the first half, while the Black Bears held the River Hawks without a point over the final 5:27 of the second quarter.
UMaine never trailed after Brousseau hit a perimeter shot just under two minutes into the contest.
Brousseau was one of three Black Bears in double figures, led by Laia Sole’s 20 points on 9-for-12 shooting, and Fanny Wadling also had 12 points to go with six rebounds.
Brousseau also had five assists and four rebounds, and Tanesha Sutton contributed eight points and six boards.
“Overall, I was happy with our effort,” Vachon told Learfield radio broadcaster Don Shields. “I was really, really impressed with how we came out in the first half.”
The Black Bears shot a solid 43 percent from the floor (27-62) while forcing 23 River Hawk turnovers.
UMaine would score 22 points off those turnovers, and UMass Lowell would not get any closer than 16 in the final 20 minutes.
The Black Bears also would use their size and physicality to an advantage, scoring 42 of their 65 points in the paint.
“Offensively, we’ll work on some things, but we’re getting there,” Vachon said.
Vachon also noted she was impressed with UMaine’s defensive effort. UMass Lowell was limited to 39 percent shooting.
Kayla Gibbs was the River Hawks’ lone double-digit scorer with 14 points.
UMaine returns to action when it travels to Long Island to face Stony Brook on Saturday afternoon.