The University of Maine’s youthful basketball team rebounded from a 58-point loss to Nebraska on Tuesday with a much better performance against Providence College in its home opener at the Memorial Gym on Saturday afternoon.
But the Friars overcame a 17-point second quarter deficit to beat the Black Bears 66-61 in overtime.
Miss Maine Basketball Emily Archibald from Kennebunk, a freshman forward, scored a team-high 20 points and hit a driving layup with 2:10 left in overtime to give the Friars a 63-58 lead and the Black Bears couldn’t get any closer than two the rest of the way.
“My coaches and teammates have confidence in me so that gave me the confidence to take that layup and, luckily, it went in,” said Archibald. “This was a great team win.”
Archibald also grabbed six rebounds.
UMaine will host Delaware at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Monday night at 7 p.m.
Janai Crooms, who spent two seasons at Ohio State and one at Michigan State before transferring to Providence, turned in an outstanding performance with 18 points and 19 rebounds.
She cemented the win with two free throws with 8.7 seconds left.
“We executed defensively, played together and showed some resiliency,” said Crooms, who also had five assists, four blocked shots and two steals.
“It was a good game,” said UMaine coach Amy Vachon. “We left a lot of points out there. But we’re a young team and a lot of our players haven’t been in that position before. At times, we had Anne [Simon] out there with four sophomores.”
UMaine led by five with 1:58 left but Alyssa Geary sank a layup and Mary Baskerville got inside to convert a traditional 3-point play with 1:13 left to tie it.
Neither team could score the rest of the way.
Geary wound up with 15 points, three rebounds and three assists. Baskerville, who was in foul trouble and eventually fouled out, had five points, six rebounds and three blocked shots for the much taller Friars.
Simon pumped in a game-high 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. She also had four steals and three assists.
“She’s tough. She’s a very good player. She’s always moving,” said Crooms, who had to guard Simon.
Sophomore guard Alba Orois added 13 points and three assists. Junior forward Abbe Laurence, who missed the Nebraska game after coming off knee surgery, registered five points, four rebounds and two blocked shots in 19:24 of playing time.
Maeve Carroll contributed eight points, five rebounds and seven assists but was in foul trouble and wound up fouling out 44 seconds into overtime and only logged 21 minutes and 21 seconds of playing time.
“I can’t afford to foul out. I need to do better. I can’t put the team in that position. I can’t be off the court, especially in overtime,” Carroll said.
Impressive freshman guard Sera Hodgsonn also fouled out after scoring six points.
Vachon said the foul troubles of Carroll and Hodgson were a “big factor.”
“Sera was a plus-16,” said Vachon referring to points for her team as opposed to the opposing team’s points when Hodgson was on the floor.
She also said they need Carroll’s leadership on the floor.
The Black Bears played a terrific first quarter, building a 17-3 lead behind Simon’s eight points and a swarming defense that forced seven turnovers.
The Friars shot 1-for-13 from the floor and the Black Bears shot 7-for-18 (38.9 percent) while also outhustling their visitors to hunt down every loose ball.
Hodgson’s three to open the third period extended it to 20-3 before Providence began its comeback.
Carroll picked up her second foul at the end of the quarter and sat out the second period as Providence clawed its way back to within four at the half by outscoring UMaine 21-11.
Carroll had three assists in the first 10 minutes and her absence in the second period hampered UMaine’s offensive flow.
Archibald had seven points in the second period, Sampson had six on a pair of 3-pointers and Crooms had four points.
Providence shot 56.3 percent in the second quarter (9-for-16) to UMaine’s 36.4 percent (4-11).
UMaine turned the ball over seven times in the second period and Simon was held to two points.
Hodgson had six first-half points for UMaine.
Providence’s Baskerville and UMaine’s Caroline Bornemann each had five first-half rebounds to lead their respective teams.
Bornemann finished with seven rebounds.