MAINE vs. WINTHROP
Time, site: Monday, 3:30 p.m., Deland, Fla.
Records: Maine 1-8, Winthrop 2-6
Series, last meeting: 1st meeting
Key players: Maine — 5-11 G Amber Smith (12.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.6 spg, .444 FG pct.), 5-9 G Ashleigh Roberts (7.1 ppg, 2.1 apg), 5-9 G Katelyn Vanderhoff (7.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.8 spg), 5-11 G/F Tanna Ross (6.7 ppg), 6-2 F Corinne Wellington (5.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg), 5-7 G Brittany Williams (3.4 ppg); Winthrop — 5-8 G Dequesha McClanahan (9.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.0 apg, 3.1 spg), 5-11 G/F Lacey Lyons (7.8 ppg), 6-0 F Kaitlyn Rubino (6.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, .536 FG pct.), 5-7 G Tiffany Charles (6.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.0 spg), 6-0 G/F Mary Hathaway (6.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg)
Outlook: The Black Bears desperately need to build some confidence coming off seven consecutive losses, including a 95-41 setback Dec. 12 at Penn State. UMaine’s opponents in this tournament appear beatable. The biggest challenge is maintaining its energy and tenacity at both ends playing without junior Samantha Wheeler, who continues to deal with post-concussion symptoms. Smith has set the offensive tone for the Bears. The Eagles have utilized their quickness to limit opponents to 59.5 ppg while causing 19.4 turnovers per contest. However, Winthrop itself has been turnover-prone (21.5 per game) and has struggled to 29 percent overall shooting. The Eagles, who also shoot only 59 percent from the foul line, are coming off a 53-16 home loss to NAIA member Southern Poly State on Dec. 12. Winthrop lost only 53-48 Dec. 5 at Virginia Tech. UMaine’s keys today are minimizing turnovers, getting back in transition and staying out of foul trouble.