ORONO, Maine -- The University of Maine women's basketball team (8-8, 2-1 AE) returns to action when it hosts longtime rival Vermont (4-11, 1-1 AE) Tuesday, Jan. 14 at the Cross Insurance Center. Maine is looking for its third-straight league victory for the first time since 2005.
A LOOK AT THE BLACK BEARS...
Maine enters the evening at 8-8 overall after picking up back-to-back America East wins over UMBC (68-39) and at Binghamton (61-54). Last time out, Lauren Bodine knocked down six three-pointers to help her to a game-high 21 points at Binghamton. Ashleigh Roberts narrowly missed out on a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds while Anna Heise added seven points and seven rebounds off the bench.
The Black Bears are led by senior guard Ashleigh Roberts. Last time at home, Roberts became just the 17th Black Bear to tally 1,000 career points. Roberts is averaging 13.0 points and 6.0 rebounds while shooting a team-high 51.0% from the field. Roberts ranks third in the league in scoring, third in field goal percentage and tied for 13th in rebounding. Sophomore Liz Wood has tallied double-figures in 11 of Maine's first 16 games while averaging 12.0 points. Wood leads the Black Bears in rebounding (6.6), assists (3.5), steals (1.8) and blocks (0.5) while shooting 31.9% from the floor. Wood is ninth in the league in scoring, 10th in rebounding and fourth in assists. Lauren Bodine leads the league in three-point shooting at 47.0%. Bodine, who is averaging 9.0 points, has hit three or more three-poiint field goals in seven games this season including a 6-for-10 performance from beyond the arc at Binghamton. Bodine leads the league in three-point percentage (47.0%) and three-point field goals made per game (2.6). Newcomer Cherrish Wallace is averaging 9.0 points and 3.7 assists throughout her first three games. Sophomore Anna Heise and freshman Sigi Koizar are each chipping in 5.1 points off the bench.
As a team, Maine ranks fourth in the league in scoring at 64.1 points while giving up 66.3. The Black Bears are shooting 43.0% from the floor, 34.7% from three-point range and 68.7% from the free throw line while pulling down 34.9 rebounds and handing out a league-leading 16.5 assists.
The Catamounts enter the matchup on a six game losing streak after falling to Albany 94-49 on Jan. 9. Vermont's last win came on Dec. 16 when it defeated Canisius, 74-51. The Catamounts are led by a pair of Mainers in Kayla Burchill and Niki Taylor who are each averaging 10.8 points. Burchill is chipping in 2.5 rebounds while shooting a league-high 45.5-percent from three-point range. Taylor ranks second on the Catamounts with 6.3 rebounds while shooting a league-leading 90.2-percent from the free throw line, good for 14th best in the nation. Freshman Kylie Butler leads the Catamounts in rebounding at 6.9 while adding 9.8 points while fellow freshman Jordan Eisler leads the team in assists (3.7) and steals (1.7).
Vermont averages 65.2 points per game but are giving up the eighth most points in the league at 72.7. The Catamounts rank second in the league in free throw percentage (70.7) while shooting 37.1-percent from the floor and 30.3-percent from beyond the arc. The Catamounts are strong on the boards, leading the league in rebounding with 41.5 per game. Vermont averages the most turnovers in the league at 21.6 per game. 3-2, 3-7
Maine has matched up against Vermont more than any other school in its history as this will be the 83rd meeting between the two teams. The Black Bears own the all-time series 49-33. Maine won the latest meeting 73-63 on Feb. 20, 2013. In that game, Lauren Bodine tied the all-time record with seven three pointers as she tallied a career-high 24 points. Courtney Anderson added a double-double with a career-high 22 points and 10 rebounds while Liz Wood tallied 17 points. Maine has won three of the last five meetings but only three of the last 10. Prior to Maine's win in 2011, Vermont won 12 straight.
THE 1000/500 CLUB...
Senior Ashleigh Roberts is closing in on an elusive group as she is looking to become the newest member of the 1000 point, 500 rebound club at Maine. Roberts currently stands just 32 rebounds shy of the club. If she reaches the mark, Roberts would be just the 13th Black Bear to ever do so and the first since Bracey Barker in 2006-07. Here's a breakdown of the group:
Cindy Blodgett - 3,005 pts/629 rebounds
Rachel Bouchard - 2,405/1299
Jamie Cassidy - 2,380/983
Liz Coffin - 2,153/1,351
Heather Ernest - 1,804/1,040
Emily Ellis - 1,637/623
Lauree Gott - 1,387/781
Stephanie Guidi - 1,295/607
Tracey Frenette - 1,194/638
Heather Briggs - 1,176/663
Bracey Barker - 1,166/555
Stacey Porrini - 1,128/929