ORONO, Maine -- Maine (4-2) continues its stretch tournament play as it takes part in the Brown Classic, hosted in Providence, R.I., on Dec. 7-8. Maine will meet up with the host Brown Bears on Saturday at 2 PM before playing either Morgan St. or Fairfield on day two, also at 2 PM.
The Black Bears, who last started a season with four wins in their first six games in 2006, have got off to a hot start. After winning their first three games, the Black Bears most recently split a pair in the annual Black Bear Thanksgiving Tournament. Maine defeated UMass 86-56 in the opening round of the tournament before falling to Green Bay, 66-49, in the Championship.
The Black Bears are led by senior Ashleigh Roberts who is averaging 16.3 points and 5.7 rebounds. Roberts, who also leads the team in shooting (57.1%) and three-point shooting (62.5%), has scored in double figures in all six of Maine's opening contests. Sophomore Liz Wood is chipping in 12.3 points and leads the team in rebounding. Wood has scored in double-figures in three straight, including a dropping a career-high 24 points against UMass, and recorded her second double-double of the season (18 pts, 10 rebs) against Green Bay. Sophie Weckstrom has given Maine a boost at guard off the bench, averaing 6.7 points while knocking down 10 three-pointers. Weckstrom is backed off the bench by fellow sophomore Chantel Charles (5.0 pts, 3.0 rebs), freshman point guard Sigi Koizar (4.8 pts, 3.8 rebs) and post player Anna Heise (4.5, 1.8).
As a team, Maine is averaging 63.7 points per game while shooting 42.4% from the field, 37.8% from beyond the arc and 73.2% from the free throw line. The Black Bears are bringing down 34.7 rebounds and really moving the ball well, averaging 16.5 assists.
A LOOK AT BROWN: Brown enters the tournament at 4-3, coming off a midweek 66-56 victory at home over Rhode Island. The Bears, currently on a two game win streak (UMBC/92-53), are led junior guard Sophie Bikofsky and senior post Lauren Clarke. Bikofsky leads the Bears in scoring at 16.6 points per game with 3.4 rebounds and a team-high 54.5% mark from the field. Clarke is chipping in 15.6 points with 3.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists. Freshman guard Rebecca Musgrove is averaging 4.9 points and leads the team with 3.4 assists. Brown averages 69.0 points per game while shooting 39.6% from the floor, 44.2% from three-point range and 71.2% from the free throw line. The Bears average 27.1 rebounds per game and are being outrebounded by a -10.3 margin while allowing 62.9 points to their opponents.
BROWN SERIES HISTORY: This will be the 11th game all-time between Maine and Brown with the series deadlocked at five wins each. The Black Bears last win in the series came in 2006 when they defeated Brown 63-51. Most recently Brown took a 61-59 overtime victory in Maine's November tournament in 2011. The first ever meeting between the two took palce in 1983, a 60-58 victory by Brown. Brown carries a two-game win streak.