ORONO, Maine -- The Black Bears welcome last season's America East champion Albany to Alfond Arena for this afternoon's men's and women's double-header against the Great Danes. Today is Play4Kay day for the women in which the team will be wearing special pink jersey's in honor of breast cancer awareness as well as looking to reach the $10,000 goal of raising money for the Kay Yow Breast Cancer Research initiative.
Maine and Albany last met up on Jan. 12 where the Great Dane's picked up a 71-39 victory. Courtney Anderson led Maine at Albany with 11 points while Mikaela Gustafsson added 10 points and five rebounds.
The Black Bears enter Saturday averaging 53.3 points per game while giving up 67.7 points per game. Maine is shooting 36.3% from the field, 25.7% from three-point range and 67.3% from the free throw line. Maine averages 36.8 rebounds per game, 11.8 assists and 6.7 steals while forcing 15.4 turnovers.
Sophomore forward Danielle Walczak leads the Black Bears in scoring as she is averaging 10.4 points per game with 5.2 rebounds and a team-high 47.7% mark from the floor. Walczak is coming off a career game as she totaled career-highs in points (28) and rebounds (12). Junior guard Ashleigh Roberts is also chipping in 9.2 points per game to go along with 4.5 rebounds and a 70.6% mark from the free-throw line. Freshman Liz Wood, who has recorded double-figures in scoring in each of her last six games, is now averaging 9.1 points and a team-high 6.2 rebounds. Wood, who recently won her third-straight America East Rookie of the Week award, tallied her fourth double-double of the year with 19 points and a career-high 11 rebounds against UMBC. Wood also leads the Black Bears in assists (2.5) and steals (1.3). Wood leads Maine in conference only scoring at 11.8 points per game. Courtney Anderson is averaging 6.6 PPG with 3.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists. Senior Corinne Wellington has elevated her game in conference play as she is averaging 5.5 points and 5.6 rebounds in league-only action.
Albany, currently riding an 11-game win streak, enters Orono at 19-3 overall and a perfect 10-0 in America East play. The Great Danes are coming off an 85-41 win over UMBC on Wednesday evening. Shereesha Richards led the Albany attack with 22 points, six rebounds and five steals as the Great Danes had five-scorers tally double-figures in scoring. Albany features three-scorers who average double-figures in scoring, led by Ebone Henry's 14.6 points and 5.4 rebounds. Henry, who ranks second in the league in scoring, has recorded 70 assists and 65 steals this season. Megan Craig is chipping in 10.8 points and 5.1 rebounds while leading the team with 1.0 block per game. Lindsey Lowrie is averaging 10.0 points while Sarah Royals leads the team with 4.0 assists per game. The Great Danes lead the league in scoring (66.9) and rank at the top in terms of defense, limiting their opponents to 46.9 points per game.
This will be the 27th meeting between Maine and Albany with the Black Bears holding the career series advantage 16-10. The Great Danes have won six straight against Maine with the Black Bears last win coming on Jan. 28, 2010 by a score of 61-58 at Albany. Albany won the last meeting on Jan. 12 when the Great Dane's picked up a 71-39 victory. Courtney Anderson led Maine at Albany with 11 points while Mikaela Gustafsson added 10 points and five rebounds. The Black Bears won the first ever meeting between the two teams by a score of 88-58 on Jan. 12, 2001 and went on to win the first 12 meetings in all.