Women's Basketball Returns to Action at James Madison on Dec. 28
ORONO, Maine -- The University of Maine women's basketball team (1-9) returns to action as it travels to face James Madison (4-6) in Harrisonburg, Va. on Friday, Dec. 28 at 7 PM.
The Black Bears continue their current their current eight game road swing with the fifth game away from Alfond Arena. Maine, currently in the midst of a six game losing skid, enters the game averaging 53.0 PPG while shooting 35.9% from the field. Maine is averaging 27.1% from long range and 65.7% from the free throw line while pulling down 37.4 rebounds. Maine dishes out 12.2 assists per game while swiping 7.3 steals. Last time out, the Black Bears lost a close decision by a score of 44-40 at Bryant. Milica Mitrovic tallied a career-high 12 points to lead Maine while fellow freshman Anna Heise also had double-figures with 10.
Junior guard Ashleigh Roberts leads the Maine offense against James Madison as she is leading the team in points per game (11.3), assists (2.3) and steals (1.3) while shooting 42.7% from the field. Danielle Walczak is chipping in 7.7 points and 4.3 rebounds and leads the team with a 47.1% mark from the field. Freshman Liz Wood is averaging 7.2 PPG and leads the Black Bears in rebounding at 5.2 per game. Wood currently ranks second in the America East in freshman scoring and leads the Black Bears with 12 three-pointers. Anna Heise is netting 6.8 PPG with 3.7 rebounds and leads the team with a 78.3% mark from the free throw line. Courtney Anderson is tallying 5.4 PPG with 3.2 rebounds while Sophie Weckstrom is averaging 3.1 PPG and 2.1 assists.
The Dukes enter the contest 1-3 in their last four games after most recently defeating American 65-49 back on Dec. 21. Precious Hall and Tarik Hislop each netted 16 points in the win to lead the Dukes while Kirby Burkholder pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds. As a unit, James Madison is averaging 63.8 points per game while shooting 35.5% from the field and 69.7% from the free throw line, a year after participating in the WNIT (11-12). James Madison pulls down 42.0 rebounds per game while forcing 7.4 steals and 17.1 turnover. Hislop leads the Duke offense as she is averaging 17.3 PPG with 3.0 rebounds and 15 steals while shooting 30.4% from beyond the three-point arc. Burkholder is chipping in 13.9 PPG while leading the team at 7.7 rebounds per game and a team-high 19 steals. Burkholder shoots 89.7% from the free throw line. Nikki Newman is averaging 5.7 PPG while leading the team with 14 blocks and also adding 2.4 assists per game.
This will be the fifth all-time meeting between Maine and James Madison as the series is tied at 2-2. James Madison picked up a victory in last season's meeting on Dec. 8, 2011 as the Dukes won by a score of 64-47 in a game played at 'The Pit' inside Memorial Gym in Orono. Current student-assistant Samantha Wheeler tallied 18 points in the game while Ashleigh Roberts netted five to lead Maine returners. The Black Bears last win against James Madison came on Nov. 28, 1997; a game won 85-62 by Maine in the opening round of that season's Dead River Company Classic in Orono. Maine also picked up a win in the first ever meeting between the two teams, 71-54 back on Dec. 29, 1991.