Saturday, December 17, 2016

Strong start lifts Maine over Bryant, 77-52

Recap, photo courtesy of UMaine

Koizar nets 20, moves into 8th all-time on Maine scoring list

SMITHFIELD, R.I. -- The University of Maine women's basketball team (6-5) netted its highest first quarter total of the season (28) before taking a 45-25 lead at the half and cruising to a 77-52 victory at Bryant on Saturday afternoon. Maine has now put together three-straight wins.

Sigi Koizar led all scorers with 20 points on a historic day for the senior. Koizar, who tallied the 1,400th point of her career, surpassed Lauree Gott on Maine's all-time scoring list to move her into eighth all-time. The senior guard also moved into a tie with former teammate Sophie Weckstrom for fifth all-time in 3-point makes at Maine, netting the 150th field goal from downtown of her career.

Koizar was joined in double-digits by Tanesha Sutton (12) and Blanca Millan (11). Sutton, who matched a career-high with 12 points, padded the stat sheet with six rebounds, six assists and three steals. Millan went 3-for-4 from 3-point range and added three steals.

Maine knocked down 6-of-7 attempts from 3-point range in the first quarter and finished the game with a season-high 12 makes from beyond the arc. Overall, Maine went 31-for-61 from the floor (50.8%). Defensively, the Black Bears forced 24 turnovers and outscored Bryant 31-6 in points off turnovers.

Trailing by four midway through the first quarter, Maine went on an extended 18-2 run, knocking down four 3-pointers during the sprint, to take a 28-16 lead into the second period. Half of Maine's season-high 28 first quarter points came directly off Bryant turnovers.

The lead expanded to 14 before Bryant chipped away, coming back within 10.

However, the Black Bears again went on an extended run, distancing itself from the Bulldogs. Maine reeled off 13 unanswered points to take a 45-22 lead. Four different Black Bears scored during the run which saw Maine knock down three more shots from beyond the arc.

At the half, Maine led 45-25, outscoring Bryant 25-0 in points off turnovers.

Bryant continued to plug away in the third which saw it outscore Maine 18-11 in the period, closing the gap down to 13 heading into the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs continued their charge into the final period, cutting the lead down to 10 on a triple from Stephanie Lesko.

Maine regrouped and began executing its offense again as a layup from Koizar began another 13-0 sprint. Sutton's offensive rebound put back lifted Maine's lead up to 24, 72-48.

Bryant stopped the run with a pair of free throws from Sydney Holloway before a triple from Isabel Hernandez Pepe and a jumper from Madddy McVicar, her first collegiate hoop, gave Maine its largest lead of the game (27), 77-50.

Maine continued to cruise, locking up its third-straight win, 77-52.

The Black Bears are back in action on Monday, Dec. 19 when they open the Miami Tournament with a contest against East Tennessee State at 3 p.m.


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