Toledo, Ohio — The University of Maine women’s basketball team (4-3), which led by as many as 15 and never trailed in regulation, fell in overtime at Toledo (5-1) by a 65-64 final. Julie Brosseau, who tallied 14 first quarter points, finished with a career-high 26 in the heartbreaking defeat.
Brosseau, who has now scored 20+ in two of her last three outings, finished the contest 10-of-23 from the floor, including a 4-for-8 showing from 3-point range, while adding six rebounds. Blanca Millan chipped in 16 points, five rebounds and four steals and has now tallied double-digits in each of her last six games. Tanesha Sutton chipped in 12 points and eight rebounds while Kirstin Johnson’s career-high 11 boards were a game-high.
“I just love this team so much,” said head coach Amy Vachon. “They play so hard, they listen, I wanted this win so badly for them. Especially the way we came out in the first quarter. Toledo is a great team, we knew they were going to come back. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot but those are things we can fix. We’re playing freshmen and sophomores and I just can’t say enough about this team and their effort.”
The Black Bears were tough on the offensive glass, finishing with 10 offense rebounds which led to a 16-6 second chance point advantage. In all, Maine won the rebounding battle, 49-37.
Toledo, which entered play ranked No. 24 in the College Insider Mid-Major Top-25 poll, struggled from the free throw line, finishing just 12-of-27 (44.4%).
The Black Bears started the game with one of their most impressive offensive quarters in recent history, led by Brosseau’s 14 points in the opening 10-minutes. Maine started the game with an 8-1 run, forcing Toledo to take a timeout just 1:56 into the contest.
Toledo closed within a pair before Maine settled in, answering with an 11-0 run to take a 21-8 advantage. Maine would close the first quarter on a 7-2 run, powered by five more points from Brosseau, to take a 28-13 lead, its largest of the game. The 28 points were the most scored in a quarter this season by the Black Bears against a Division I opponent.
The Rockets were able to cut the lead down to six on Mikaela Boyd’s layup with 2:03 left in the half. Maddy McVicar’s 3-pointer with 53-seconds to play in the second sent Maine into the break with a 35-26 lead.
The third quarter was quiet offensively on both sides. Toledo close the gap back down to six after outscoring the Black Bears 10-7 in the period. The game entered the fourth with Maine leading 42-36.
Toledo continued to chip away, trailing by four with 7:30 left in the final quarter of regulation. A pair of 3-pointers by Millan and Brosseau, separated by almost three minutes, gave Maine a 6-0 run to stretch the lead back to 10 with 4:44 on the clock.
However, the Black Bears were held to just two points throughout the remainder of the fourth. Toledo put together a 12-2 run as Boyd’s layup with two-seconds remaining in regulation knotted the score at 54-54, sending the contest into overtime. It was just the first tie of the game and the first time Maine failed to lead in the contest.
Toledo took its first lead of the game on Jay-Ann Bravo Harriott’s layup with 3:58 to play in the overtime period. The hosts extended its lead to three before Brosseau’s fourth 3-pointer of the game tied it at 60.
Kaayla McIntyre’s layup followed, putting Toledo back up by a pair, before Brosseau answered with her 26th point of the night, to bring the teams even once again.
On its next possession, Toledo stuck a 3-pointer. A pair of free throws by Millan brought Maine back within one. Maine was forced to foul with 3-seconds remaining. Toledo would miss both free throws but a halfcourt shot at the buzzer by the Black Bears would fall short as Toledo escared with a 65-64 victory.
Maine rebounds on Sunday when it travels to meet No. 8 Ohio State at 1 p.m.