Maeve Carroll (5) of the University of Maine blocks a shot by Nebraska's Alexis Markowski as Black Bears teammate Caroline Bornemann (left) defends during Tuesday's game in Lincoln, Nebraska. Credit: Courtesy of Nebraska Athletics

The University of Maine women’s basketball team returns to its “classroom,” Memorial Gym in Orono, at 1 p.m. on Saturday when it plays its home opener against Providence College.

The Black Bears then travel to Bangor on Monday to play on their normal home court at the Cross Insurance Center in a 7 p.m. game against Delaware.

Fifth-year head coach Amy Vachon continues the teaching process as she seeks a performance upgrade from her youthful team, which got schooled 108-50 in Tuesday’s season opener by a talented, much more experienced and significantly taller Nebraska team.

All five UMaine freshmen made their debuts against the Cornhuskers. The team also includes five sophomores.

The 108 points allowed in a game were the most since a 126-63 thrashing at the hands of Kansas on Dec. 1, 2010.

Saturday’s game will be the second in a challenging stretch of 11 non-conference contests leading up to the Black Bears’ Dec. 30 America East opener at Vermont.

Nebraska shot 61.2 percent from the floor and outrebounded UMaine 43-20.

“Our level of execution wasn’t up to our standards,” said Vachon. “We need to be focused in and improve each day this weekend. We are looking to execute both on the offensive and defensive end.

“Providence has a good, balanced team with experience in the post that we will have to defend well,” Vachon added.

The two players Vachon is counting on to lead the team, All-America East first-team guard Anne Simon and All-AE second-team forward Maeve Carroll, were UMaine top scorers against Nebraska with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Carroll, the only senior or graduate student on the roster, also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out five assists.

Spanish sophomore guard Alba Orois, who ranks third behind Simon and Carroll among returnees in playing time last season (16 minutes per game), provided eight points and six assists.

The other four players who logged double-digit minutes were freshman guards Sera Hodgson from New Hampshire (24 minutes, 2 points, 1 rebound) and Bailey Wilborn from Kansas (18 minutes, 6 points, 1 rebound), Vermont sophomore guard Olivia Rockwood (17 minutes, 3 points) and Danish sophomore forward Caroline Bornemann (13 minutes, 2 points, 2 rebounds).

Junior guard Anna Kahelin has been lost for the season with a knee injury and junior forward Abbe Laurence didn’t play due to an undisclosed injury.

Yale beat Providence 63-57 in overtime in the Friars’ opener.

UMaine will again face a significant height disadvantage as Providence’s returning scoring leaders, Mary Baskerville (12.7 ppg) and Alyssa Geary (11.4 ppg), stand 6-foot-3 and 6-4, respectively.

Carroll is UMaine’s tallest starter at 5-11.

Baskerville, who averaged 6.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals last season, was an All-Big East second-teamer last season. Geary averaged 4.8 rpg.

Providence, picked eighth in the Big East preseason poll, has been bolstered by transfer Janai Crooms. The 5-10 guard spent two seasons at Ohio State and last season at Michigan State, appearing in 105 games between the two.

She had 18 points and seven rebounds against Yale.