Going into the weekend series at Stony Brook, University of Maine women’s basketball coach Amy Vachon said her team was going to have to make shots against the Seawolves’ aggressive man-to-man defense.
Stony Brook ranks fourth in Division I, allowing only 50.2 points per game.
UMaine didn’t make enough shots on Saturday, shooting 32 percent from the floor (20-for-62) from the floor. And Stony Brook received two clutch free throws from Kent State transfer Asiah Dingle with 14 seconds left to beat the Black Bears 59-54 at the Island Federal Credit Union Arena in Stony Brook, New York.
The loss snapped the Black Bears’ nine-game winning streak.
“Stony Brook played better than we did. When we get 20 more shots than the opponent, we should probably win the game,” UMaine coach Amy Vachon said. “But they made bigger plays down the stretch than we did and we didn’t shoot the ball well.
Stony Brook improved to 11-4 overall, 9-2 in the conference, and took a step toward defending its America East regular-season title. UMaine (14-2, 11-2 AE) holds on to a percentage-points lead in the standings going into Sunday’s 2 p.m. rematch.
UMaine, which is 7-14 all time at Stony Brook, trailed by as many as 10 points in the third quarter. But the Black Bears rallied to tie it 47-47 on two Anne Simon free throws with 5:07 remaining.
But Gigi Gonzalez gave the Seawolves the lead for good with a jumper and then she nailed a 3-pointer for her only five points of the game.
Two Dor Saar free throws and a Simon basket cut it to 52-51 with 1:49 left but Nairimar Vargas-Reyes blocked a Simon shot and Hailey Zeise sank two free throws with 1:14 left.
Simon missed a three and Saar missed a jumper before Providence College transfer Earlette Scott sank two free throws to extend the lead to 56-51 with 41 seconds left.
Simon gave UMaine a lifeline with a 3-pointer, but Dingle was fouled and sank both to sew up the win.
UMaine hit just two of its last nine shots.
Stony Brook shot 20-for-44 from the floor (45.5 percent).
UMaine went 4-for-16 from the 3-point arc compared to Stony Brook’s 1-for-8.
Dingle, who led Kent State in scoring, assists and steals last season, was her team’s only double-digit scorer with 16 points. Scott posted eight points, four rebounds and two steals and Anastasia Warren produced eight points. Zeise added six points and eight rebounds.
Simon’s game-high 17 points, three rebounds and two steals paced UMaine. Maeve Carroll added 13 points and eight rebounds.
Millan, the nation’s No. 14 scorer with 22.7 points per game, was held to 12 points on a 4-for-18 shooting performance. She did have seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Saar (4 rebounds, 3 assists) scored only four points on a 1-for-11 showing from the floor. Fanny Wadling grabbed seven rebounds.
“Stony Brook is a good defensive team, obviously. To say they didn’t have anything to do with it would not be fair. I also think we missed a lot of shots,” Vachon said. “You can’t have your two best players (Millan, Saar) go 5-for-29. That hurts.”