India Pagan shot 13-of-14 from the field to score a career-high 26 points on Sunday afternoon as the Stony Brook women’s basketball team secured its 11th consecutive victory by outlasting the University of Maine 73-69 at Island Federal Arena in Stony Brook, New York.
The Black Bears fell to 5-11 overall and 1-1 in the conference after suffering their first league loss since Jan. 16, 2019.
Pagan, a 6-foot-1 junior forward, was at her best as Stony Brook (14-1 overall, 2-0 AE) rallied from a 38-34 halftime deficit by outscoring UMaine 18-8 during the third quarter.
With the Seawolves trailing 41-40, Pagan scored the first eight points of a 10-0 run midway through the third quarter that gave the Seawolves a sudden 50-41 cushion.
Pagan’s went on to eclipse her previous career high of 25 points scored against Bucknell on Dec. 29.
“My teammates just kept feeding me the ball,” she said. “They trusted me. That’s how I really get all the buckets.”
An injury-plagued UMaine squad didn’t go away quietly.
Anne Simon’s layup cut the deficit to seven points, then Dor Saar buried a 3-pointer after a Stony Brook turnover to draw the Black Bears back within 50-46 with 1:39 left in the third quarter.
Stony Brook rebuilt its lead in the fourth quarter, but UMaine’s Kelly Fogarty made back to-back 3-pointers to pull the Black Bears back within four points with five minutes left in regulation play.
UMaine was still within four after Maeve Carroll scored on a putback with 18 seconds left, and Stony Brook then missed two free throws to give the Black Bears a chance to draw closer.
But a late UMaine turnover ultimately denied coach Amy Vachon’s club a dramatic late comeback as Stony Brook extended the longest winning streak in its NCAA Division I history.
Carroll paced UMaine with a career-best 19 points and added 10 rebounds and nine assists for her second career double-double. Simon contributed 15 points and a career-high eight rebounds for the two-time defending America East champion Black Bears.
Saar finished with 13 points and four assists, Fogarty made four 3-pointers for 12 points and Maddy McVicar of Calais finished with 10 points as all five UMaine starters scored in double figures.
UMaine assisted on 17 of its 27 made field goals while making 10 of 23 3-point attempts (43.5 percent). The Black Bears also shot better than 50 percent from the field overall with their 28-for-54 performance (51.9 percent).
Stony Brook also shot well, making 51.9 percent (27 of 55) of its field-goal tries and 50 percent (4 of 8) of its 3-point attempts.
The Seawolves outrebounded UMaine 32-26 and committed just eight turnovers compared to 11 for the Black Bears.
Kaela Hilaire, a 5-2 guard, returned after sitting out two weeks due to injury to contribute 18 points for Stony Brook while sophomore guard Anastasia Warren had a career-high 17 points.
UMaine shot 60 percent (15 of 25) from the field during the first half, including an 8-for-13 effort during the second quarter while outscoring Stony Brook 21-11 to erase a six-point deficit at the end of the first period.
The Black Bears resume America East play at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor against the University of New Hampshire.