University of Maine women’s basketball coach Amy Vachon was understandably distraught after watching her injury-riddled team get manhandled by Harvard University 69-40 on Saturday afternoon at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
Harvard (7-3) took full advantage of its significant height advantage, scoring at will in the paint and also kicking the ball out to its open perimeter shooters when UMaine (3-7) collapsed on the ball underneath.
Even though Harvard is without its top four scorers off last year’s team, the Crimson totally dominated all aspects of the game.
Freshman guard Lola Mullaney, 6-foot-3 senior forward Jeannie Boehm and senior guard Mackenzie Barta combined for 43 points on 18-for-30 shooting. Mullaney finished with 15 points on a 6-for-10 showing, Boehm had 14 points on a 7-for-9 shooting day and Barta also tallied 14 points (5-for-11).
Boehm also had five rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots. Barta had nine rebounds.
Maggie McCarthy contributed 11 points and seven rebounds and Tess Sussman dished out a game-high four assists to go with five rebounds, four points and two steals.
Harvard shot 46.2 percent from the floor and outrebounded UMaine 49-24.
“Harvard played really well and shot really well but I was disappointed in our effort,” Vachon said. “We didn’t show up in any facet today. It wasn’t a talent thing by any means. It was a work ethic thing and that really bothers me because that’s something we pride ourselves on.”
UMaine shot a dismal 25.5 percent, including 11 missed layups and six more that were blocked by the Crimson.
Freshman Anne Simon’s career-high 13 points led UMaine. Maddy McVicar chipped in with 11 points and three steals and Kelly Fogarty notched eight points. Dor Saar shot just 2-for-14 from the floor and wound up with five points and three assists. Maeve Carroll had nine rebounds and Abbe Laurence produced a game-high four steals.
Vachon added that this was the first time this season there wasn’t anything positive to take from a game or a practice.
“It looked to me like we didn’t want to be here and that’s what concerns me the most,” she said. “They had 14 offensive rebounds and we had 16 defensive rebounds. They got one of every two rebounds [off their missed shots]. That’s not a talent thing, that’s a focus thing, a boxing out thing. Our defense is atrocious right now.”
Boehm came into the game shooting just 37.1 percent from the floor but she was virtually unstoppable underneath.
“When you play a smaller team, it can go one or two ways,” Boehm said. “Either the paint is open so you can shoot or [if they collapse on you], they’re going be open on the outside. The nice thing about our team is we have both of those things.”
“Jeannie did a great job,” said Harvard coach Kathy Delaney-Smith. “She was poised tonight. Sometimes, when you’re that tall, you draw a lot of attention and you can rush your shot. She didn’t.”
Harvard, whose starters were an average of four inches taller than UMaine’s, jumped out to a 16-4 lead and used a 14-0 spurt later in the first half to help build a 35-19 edge at the intermission.
UMaine lost America East Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Blanca Millan for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her knee, and America East rebound leader Fanny Wadling has not played yet this season due to her second concussion in two years.
The three most experienced available Black Bears, Saar, McVicar and Carroll, shot a woeful 2-for-15 over the opening 20 minutes.
UMaine strung together a 10-3 run in the first half to climb within 19-14, but that was as close as it got.
Boehm had 10 first-half points, McCarthy had seven, Annie Stritzel had six and Barta scored five for the Crimson, which shot 52 percent from the floor compared with UMaine’s 25 percent.
Harvard had a 23-12 rebounding edge in the first half.
Simon’s 11 points paced UMaine in the first half. Nobody else had more than three.
UMaine travels to 3-3 Dartmouth for a noon Education Day game on Tuesday against the Big Green in Hanover, New Hampshire.