The University of Maine women’s basketball team overcame a 14-point second-half deficit in Friday afternoon’s game at Army to put itself in position to collect its third straight win.
But Army’s Sabria Hunter forced overtime with a basket at the buzzer in regulation, and then Army erased a five-point deficit with 59 seconds left in the first overtime before pulling away late in the second overtime for a thrilling 87-81 victory in New York.
It was Army’s third win in a row and improved the Black Knights’ record to 3-2. The loss snapped UMaine’s two-game winning streak, and the team fell to 2-4.
Alba Orois’ reverse layup with 2.1 seconds left in regulation gave UMaine a 70-68 lead before Army’s Kate Murray launched a 3-pointer to win it, but it came up way short.
The ball landed in the hands of Hunter and she laid it in.
In overtime, Orois sank one of two free throws to make it 77-72 with 59 seconds remaining but Hunter hit a layup and then made a steal.
Alisa Fallon missed a three for Army, but Lauren Lithgow grabbed the offensive rebound to extend the possession. Fallon was eventually fouled by UMaine’s Maeve Carroll while converting a layup and hit the free throw to tie it with 34 seconds left.
Carroll fouled out on the play.
UMaine took a pair of two-point leads in the second overtime but Trinity Hardy’s 3-pointer with 1:52 left gave Army the lead for good.
UMaine missed its next three shots as Murray blocked Anne Simon’s shot with 36 seconds left, gathered the rebound, and was fouled by Adrianna Smith.
Bailey Wilborn missed a potential game-tying three for UMaine and Hardy added a clinching free throw with 17 seconds left before Hope Brown added two more with one second left.
“It was a great basketball game,” said UMaine head coach Amy Vachon to play-by-play man Don Shields. “I thought we had it in regulation but they got us, and I thought we had it in the first overtime but they got us again. We’ll grow from it. We didn’t start well and we’ve got to work on that.”
Murray finished with 21 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots for the Black Knights of first-year coach Missy Traversi, who was a 1,000-point scorer at UMaine.
Fallon had 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for Army. Hunter produced 16 points, 11 rebounds and three steals and Hardy had 12 points and three assists.
Sophomore Orois’ game and career-high 21 points paced UMaine. She also had seven assists, five rebounds and three steals. Simon finished with 19 points, six steals, six rebounds and five assists and Carroll had 16 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three blocked shots.
Freshman Wilborn knocked down four 3-pointers for the third straight game and wound up with 14 points.
UMaine will travel to take on 4-1 Princeton on Sunday at 1 p.m. in New Jersey.