FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- It came down to the last second for the Black Bears but the University of Maine women's basketball team (6-6) came up short in the end as it dropped a 76-75 decision at Sacred Heart (3-8) on Sunday afternoon. Lauren Bodine (Louisville, Ky.) matched a career-high with 24 points, going 6-for-9 from three-point range, while Sigi Koizar (Vienna, Austria) and Anna Heise (Halle, Germany) each added 12.
The Black Bears went 19-for-25 from the free throw line and outrebounded Sacred Heart 37-32. Maine shot 45.3% from the field (24-for-53) and 40.0% from beyond the arc.
The Pioneers had four scorers total double-figures, led by Gabrielle Washington's 13 points.
Each team struggled at the start before the Black Bears strung together an early 7-0 run over a 1:44 period. Mikaela Gustafsson (Sodertalje, Sweden) started the Black Bear scoring with a jumper before Wood found Sigi Koizar (Vienna, Austria) on a back-door cut for a layup. Wood's three from the top of the key ended the Maine run as the Black Bears built an early 7-2 lead.
The Pioneers battled back, taking a one point lead midway through the first half. Maine answered with an 11-0 run to take a double-digit lead. Koizar jump started the run with four-straight free throws before Lauren Bodine (Louisville, Ky.) knocked down a three from the left wing. Back-to-back buckets from Anna Heise (Halle, Germany) gave Maine its largest lead of the half, 22-12.
Sacred Heart came on strong in the final minutes of the half, closing out the first on a 26-11 run to take a 38-33 lead into the break.
Nine different scorers tallied points in the opening half for Maine, led by Bodine's eight. The Black Bears finished the half 14-for-16 from the free throw line.
The Pioneers remained hot to start the second half, stretching their lead to 10 with a 5-0 run to start the half.
The Black Bears began to find a rhythm, breaking out on a 10-0 run after trailing by 11. Bodine started the break with a take before Wood drove the lane and kicked a pass across the paint to Heise for two and a foul. After a made free throw, the Black Bears offense got the ball back and went to work. Maine zipped the ball around the perimeter and inside before Wood kicked it out to Bodine for three. Maine cut the lead down to one when Wood flashed to the hoop for a pair out of a designed out of bounds play.
Sacred Heart answered, taking a 59-54 lead before Bodine and Heise hit back-to-back three-pointers as Maine regained the lead, 61-59, with just under nine minutes to play.
Another Sacred Heart run, this time 10-0 powered by five-straight points from Adaysha Williams, gave the Pioneers a 69-61 advantage.
Maine refused to quit as it fought back for the game's sixth tie after a 9-2 run. Roberts kept Maine's run alive as she pulled down and offensive board and went back up strong, making the hoop and drawing a foul. Roberts' free throw chipped away at the Sacred Heart lead before three straight points from Koizar tied things at 71-all with under two minutes to play.
Sacred Heart hit its free throws and moved its lead to 75-72 with under 40-seconds to play. The Black Bears had control in their own end and worked out of a pair of timeouts to get the look they wanted but failed to score. The Pioneers hit a free throw to take a four point lead before Bodine knocked down her sixth three of the game. However it would not be enough as the Black Bears fell 76-75.
Maine remains on the road as it travels to take on Green Bay on New Year's Day at 2 PM EST.