BANGOR, Maine — The University of Maine women’s basketball team had its hands full with a new-look Stony Brook team on Wednesday night, but the Black Bears received a valuable contribution from freshman forward Maeve Carroll and strung together an 8-0 run in the fourth quarter to grind out a 64-56 victory at the Cross Insurance Center.
It was a mutual America East opener.
Both teams are now 8-6.
Carroll came off the bench to grab a team-high nine rebounds, including five offensive boards, and she also handed out four assists and made two steals to go with six points.
Carroll helped overcome the absence of leading rebounder and third-leading scorer Tanesha Sutton, who was limited to only 14 minutes due to foul trouble.
“Maeve played very well,” said UMaine interim head coach Amy Vachon. “Stony Brook played hard. You’ve got to give them credit.”
Blanca Millan scored a game-high 20 points for the Black Bears and she also contributed seven rebounds, three steals and two assists. Julie Brosseau tallied 19 more points for the Black Bears and Fanny Wadling contributed seven points, seven rebounds and four assists.
“We did a better job in the second half,” said Millan. “Maeve grabbed some real important rebounds that gave us more shots and Julie hit some important shots.”
Shania Johnson, a 5-foot-1 transfer, posted 19 points for the Seawolves including five 3-pointers. She now has 41 3’s on the season. She also provided six rebounds and a game-high five assists.
“We had to adjust our game in the second half. We knew (Johnson) had been hitting that (3-pointer). Blanca did a real good job on her,” said Brosseau.
Cheyenne Clark and Gio Perez had 11 points apiece and Clark pulled down seven rebounds. Perez had four steals and four assists.
The game was tied at the half but Dor Saar’s 3-pointer to open the second half and Millan’s short jumper gave the Black Bears a lead they would never relinquish.
Stony Brook cut it to one later in the third quarter before UMaine used a 9-2 run to restore an eight-point lead.
The Seawolves eventually cut the deficit back to two at 47-45 on a conventional three-point play by Perez but Carroll triggered the decisive 8-0 run with a nine-foot baseline jump shot off a Wadling feed and, seconds later, Carroll rebounded a Wadling miss and fed Brosseau for a 3-pointer.
Millan capped the flurry with a 3-pointer off a Wadling pass.
The Seawolves closed to within six with just under two minutes remaining on a Johnson 3 but those would be Stony Brook’s final points.
Parise Rossignol added a two free throws with 14 seconds left.
UMaine outrebounded Stony Brook 40-29.
Rossignol banked in a desperation 3-pointer from the top of the key as time ran out in the first half to pull the Black Bears into a 25-25 tie.
The two teams combined for 25 turnovers in the sloppily-played first half.
The Black Bears jumped out to an 8-2 lead behind Brosseau’s four points and Millan’s three-pointer but the Seawolves rattled off a 15-6 run spanning the first and second quarters to take a 17-14 lead thanks to Johnson’s three three-pointers.
Perez came off the bench and used her quickness to get to the basket and generate eight second-quarter points through a pair of layups and four foul shots.
The Seawolves had five three-point leads in the second period but Rossignol’s three negated the final one.
Millan had nine first-half points and Brosseau had eight for the Black Bears. Sutton picked up her second foul early in the second quarter and had to sit out the rest of the half.
Sutton played just six minutes in the first half.
Millan had three steals.
Carroll grabbed six rebounds in the half.
Johnson’s nine points and Perez’s eight paced the Seawolves. Johnson and Perez each also dished out two assists.