BURLINGTON, Vermont — Junior guard Sigi Koizar turned in a strong all-around game to propel the University of Maine to a 62-41 women’s basketball victory over the University of Vermont Catamounts in the Black Bears’ America East opener Wednesday night.
Koizar recorded 20 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and three steals to help the Bears improve to 10-6 overall. Vermont slipped to 5-10 overall and 0-2 in America East.
Maine benefited from a well-rounded attack as Mikaela Gustafsson chipped in with 15 points, seven rebounds and two steals and Bella Swan added 12 points and seven rebounds.
Liz Wood chipped in with six points, nine rebounds and three assists.
Sydney Smith paced Vermont with 15 points and Andreana Thomas added 14.
The Black Bears trailed 18-17 early in the second period but closed out the quarter with a 12-2 run to build a 29-20 halftime lead that they never relinquished.
Maine held Vermont without a point for 8:19.
Swan’s layup triggered the flurry before Koizar hit a jumper and Milica Mitrovic nailed a 3-pointer for her only points of the game.
Koizar followed with a 3-pointer before Kylie Atwood’s layup snapped the Catamount drought with 1:31 remaining in the half.
Swan’s layup off a Chantel Charles pass capped the scoring in the first half.
Vermont was just 2-for-10 from the floor in the second period.
Maine pulled away in the second half.
The Black Bears outscored Vermont 34-16 in the paint thanks to a 47-31 rebounding advantage.
Maine also had a 17-4 edge over the Catamounts in points off turnovers.
The Black Bears committed just eight turnovers to Vermont’s 16.
“Maine is an experienced team and they did a good job of keeping us out of our offensive rhythm tonight,” UVM coach Lori Gear McBride said. “They also dominated the glass and limited our second-chance opportunities.”
The Black Bears return to action at noon Saturday when they host UMBC at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor in an America East contest.