UMaine's Anne Simon takes the ball down court during the America East quarterfinal game against Vermont. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik

The University of Maine women’s basketball team received a stern test from a determined University of Vermont team on Wednesday night in its America East quarterfinal.

Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik

But junior forward Maeve Carroll came one assist away from a rare triple-double as she poured in 22 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and handed out nine assists to lead the Black Bears to a 78-66 win at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

Junior point guard Dor Saar contributed 21 points and six assists and didn’t turn the ball over while playing the entire 40 minutes. America East Rookie of the Year Anne Simon posted 15 points and seven rebounds along with two steals.

Fifth-year senior guard Maddy McVicar tossed in 14 points, corralled five rebounds, made three steals and had two assists as second seed UMaine won its ninth straight game and improved to 17-14.

Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik

The win was a costly one for UMaine as 5-11 freshman guard Anna Kahelin, the Black Bears sixth man and one of their top defenders, sustained a knee injury with 22 seconds left in the game.

“It doesn’t look good,” UMaine head coach Amy Vachon said.

Kahelin would be the fifth UMaine player lost to a knee injury this season.

UMaine plays No. 3 seed UMass Lowell, a 66-58 winner over No. 6 Maryland Baltimore County on Wednesday, in a 1 p.m. Sunday semifinal at Memorial Gym in Orono. The Cross Insurance Center is not available because of the Professional Bull Riders event being held at the facility.

Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik

Junior guard Josie Larkins’ 19 points and nine assists led seventh seed Vermont (12-18) and 6-foot-3 senior center Hanna Crymble, the league’s defensive player of the year, added 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Freshman guard Emma Utterback chipped in with 15 points, six rebounds and three assists.

Jane McCauley came off the bench and drained three 3-pointers for nine points and Delaney Richason had a game-high 12 rebounds to go with six points.

The Black Bears led just 71-66 with 3:48 to go but held the Catamounts scoreless the rest of the way. Vermont missed its last four shots and turned the ball over three times.

Saar blocked a 3-pointer by McCauley with 1:28 left and Carroll grabbed the rebound. Saar was eventually fouled and sank both free throws with 50 seconds left to expand the lead to 73-66.

Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik

After another Vermont 3-pointer miss, Simon was fouled.

She missed both free throws with 25 seconds left and Carroll chased the rebound before sewing the game up with two free throws.

Carroll tallied 64 points and 40 rebounds in three wins over UVM this season.

“I played pretty well in the first two games against them and that gave me a lot of confidence,” the 5-11 Carroll said. “They’re longer than I am so I went to the short corner and faced up against them and tried to get by them. I also used shot fakes because they like block shots.

‘If they doubled me, I had four perimeter shooters I could pass to,” she added.

The Black Bears went 12-for-31 from the 3-point arc.

“[Carroll] never stops working,” Crymble said. “She’s a real good player. Even when her shots weren’t falling for her in the first half, she didn’t back off. She kept fighting. You have to give her props for that.”

UMaine held Vermont to nine points in the fourth quarter on 2-for-12 shooting.

“We knew whoever played better defense was going to win,” Saar said. “We did a better job in the second half.”

“Maine hit big shots and, at the end of the day, that’s what clinches things,” Crymble said.

Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik

She said the Catamounts did a nice job in transition in the first half which led to some open shots and 35 first-half points.

“But Maine is a very smart team. They didn’t get down. They learned from their mistakes,” Crymble said.

“We were tired in the second half so it was harder to come back in transition and we settled for outside shots,” said Utterback.

Vermont led by as many as six points in the first period before the Black Bears rattled off 11 unanswered points spanning the first and second quarters to build a 27-22 lead.

Vermont used a 10-5 run to tie it up with two minutes left in the half but UMaine answered with a 7-3 run to close out the half and take a 39-35 lead into the intermission.