ORONO, Maine -- The Black Bears welcome its longest America East rival the Vermont Catamounts (8-17, 5-7 America East) to Alfond Arena for today's America East matchup. Maine looks for its second win in a row after picking up its first road victory, a 74-68 win, at Binghamton last time out.
The Black Bears continue to strive to reach their $10,000 goal for raising money for the Kay Yow Foundation. If the goal is reached by the end of Wednesday's game, Coach Barron has again agreed to shave his head. To donate, please visit the link above or donate in person at the game on Wednesday.
Last time out, the Black Bears used 22 points and a career-high 13 rebounds from Liz Wood to power them to a 74-68 victory over Binghamton. Maine had four scorers in double figures as Mikaela Gustafsson tallied a career-high 12 points while Sophie Weckstrom added a career-high 11 and Lauren Bodine went 3-for-6 from beyond the arc for 11 points.
The Black Bears enter tonight averaging 54.3 points per game while giving up 69.0 points per game. Maine is shooting 36.6% from the field, 26.4% from three-point range and 66.8% from the free throw line. Maine averages 36.8 rebounds per game, 11.7 assists and 6.9 steals while forcing 15.0 turnovers.
With the Black Bears nipped by the injury bug, junior Ashleigh Roberts is Maine's current leader in scoring at 10.3 points per game and 4.5 rebounds. Roberts is shooting 70.5% from the free throw line, seventh best amongst league leaders. Freshman Liz Wood, coming off her fifth double-double of the season, is chipping in 9.8 points and a team-high 6.6 rebounds. Wood also leads the Black Bears in assists (2.3), steals (1.5) and total minutes (32.0). Wood is averaging team-highs of 12.6 points, seventh best in the league, and 7.4 rebounds in conference action. Courtney Anderson is averaging 6.5 points and 3.1 rebounds with 2.2 assists. Anderson's 37.5% from three-point range ranks her fourth in the league. Brittany Wells and Mikaela Gustafsson, who is coming off a career-high 12 points at Binghamton, are each chipping in 3.8 points per game. Sophie Weckstrom is averaging 3.3 points to go along with 1.8 assists.
Vermont enters tonight winners of one of its last six after defeating Stony Brook 46-43 last time out. In that game, the Catamounts used 11 points from Sam Simononis and 10 from Lauren Buschmann to guide them to the win. Prior to the Stony Brook game, Vermont had lost five-straight. Vermont is led by Tierra Shumpert who is averaging 8.1 points and 3.0 rebounds while shooting 78.1% from the free throw line. Shumpert is dishing out a team-high 2.8 assists. Buschmann is chipping in 7.9 points and 5.7 rebounds while Niki Taylor is adding 8.0 points and 5.5 rebounds. Taylor is shooting 80.0% from the free throw line for the Catamounts. Simononis is adding 5.0 points while leading the team with a 36.7% mark from three-point range. As a unit, the Catamounts average 51.7 points per game while giving up 62.3. Vermont is shooting 33.2% from the field, 26.8% from three-point range and 67.5% from the free throw line while bringing down 38.7 rebounds per game, second best in the league.
Maine has matched up against Vermont more than any other team in the history of the program as this will be the 82nd meeting between the Black Bears and the Catamounts. Maine leads the all-time series 48-33 as the two teams split last season. Vermont took the most recent meeting in Burlington by a score of 61-53 on Jan. 23. In that game, Maine trailed by 12 at the half and outscored Vermont 34-30 in the second half but fell just short in the end. Liz Wood tallied a career-high 22 points in the game to go along with seven rebounds while Ashleigh Roberts added 11 points and seven rebounds. The first ever meeting took place in 1975; a game won 75-71 by the Catamounts.