Everyone wants to have a memorable Seniors Day game when they put on that uniform for the last time in a regularseason game in front of the home fans.
University of Maine fifth-year senior guard Maddy McVicar from Calais had one she will never forget on Sunday.
McVicar poured in a career-high 28 points, including a 3-pointer that gave the Black Bears the lead for good in overtime, as UMaine snapped Stony Brook’s nation-leading 22-game winning streak 64-62 in front of 2,093 loud and energetic fans at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
UMaine improved to 14-14 overall with its sixth straight win and is 10-4 in America East play. The Black Bears significantly enhanced their chances of finishing second and earning the right to potentially host two home playoff games.
Stony Brook, the America East regular-season champion, fell to 25-2 (13-1 in conference play) whle losing for the first time since dropping an 88-58 decision at nationally ranked Arkansas on Nov. 17.
McVicar went 9-for-18 from the floor, including a 6-for-11 showing from the 3-point arc, and grabbed six rebounds, made four steals and dished out four assists.
“It was awesome. You couldn’t ask for another way to go out,” McVicar said.
“Maddy played a heck of a game,” UMaine coach Amy Vachon said. “Twenty-eight points and she guarded [graduate student point guard Kaela] Hilaire and made her work for everything she got. And Maddy hit some huge shots.”
“She played like a senior on Seniors Day,” Stony Brook coach Caroline McCombs said.
Freshman guard Anne Simon provided 12 points, 11 rebounds and two steals and junior forward Maeve Carroll contributed 11 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for UMaine. Dor Saar added eight points, five rebounds and a game-high six assists.
Saar hit a vital jumper with 42.6 seconds left that expanded UMaine’s lead to 64-60. She had fed McVicar for her go-ahead 3-pointer that gave UMaine a 62-60 lead with 1:39 to go.
“When you win a game with Dor having only eight points, it [represents] a great team effort,” Vachon said.
UMaine went 10-for-27 from the 3-point arc while Stony Brook was 4-for-11.
Junior forward India Pagan’s 15 points and seven rebounds and 14 points and three assists from Seton Hall transfer Hilaire paced the Seawolves. Junior guard/forward Hailey Zeise’ scored 10 points and graduate student forward Cheyenne Clark chipped in with eight points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
UMaine led by 11 with 7:33 left and was up 55-49 with 2:41 remaining but didn’t score again in regulation.
Stony Brook trailed by two when Clark was fouled with 13 seconds left and made the first free throw. She missed the second but was fouled in the rebounding action. Clark could have given Stony Brook the lead with eight seconds left but she missed the first free throw before tying the game with her second.
The teams swapped baskets in overtime before McVicar took a pass from Saar on the left side of the key and drained her three with 1:39 remaining to give UMaine a 62-60 lead.
”That was a great pass by Dor. I had the hot hand today,” McVicar said.
Clark missed from inside and Carroll grabbed the rebound and Saar eventually hit a long jumper from the top of the key with 40 seconds left.
Pagan answered with a layup four seconds later but UMaine ran the 30-second shot clock down until the last second and Saar preserved the win by chasing down her own rebound with five seconds left before being fouled.
“We made shots and we got stops,” Saar said. “When we went into overtime, we were in good shape to win because it’s better for the home team in overtime.”
McVicar said the fans were an important factor in the game.
“When the fans have that much energy, it makes it easy on us. They were a big part of it,” McVicar said.
UMaine travels to New Hampshire for a 6 p.m. game on Wednesday.