ORONO, Maine -- The University of Maine women's basketball team looks for its fifth-straight win as it hosts Albany at the Cross Insurance Center on Alumnae weekend.
A LOOK AT THE BLACK BEARS...
The Black Bears enter this afternoon riding a four-game win streak after defeating Hartford on the road 60-56. The win against Hartford was Maine's first against the Hawks since 2005. Maine will be looking to run its winning streak to five games for the first time since doing so in 2005. The Black Bears picked up their eighth league victory at Hartford; their most conference wins seven years. Ashleigh Roberts led Maine at Hartford with 13 points and nine rebounds, giving her 500+ rebounds for her career. Liz Wood also tallied 13 points, including the 600th of her career.
Roberts leads the Black Bears' offense as she is averaging 13.2 points, sixth best in the league, to go along with 5.4 rebounds. Roberts ranks 17th in the conference in rebounding and third in field goal percentage (59.1). Wood ranks in the top 10 in five categories including points (12.5), assists (2.8), field goal percentage (43.5), steals (1.9), 3-point field goals made (1.2) and sits 11th in rebounding at 6.1 per game. Lauren Bodine is Maine's outside threat as she is averaging 7.8 points and leads the league in 3-point field goal percentage (43.5) and 3-point field goals made (2.3). Sophie Weckstrom has came on strong as of late with double-figure scoring in three of her last five including a career-high 16 points against Binghamton. Weckstrom is averaging 5.8 points with a 34.4-percent mark from beyond the arc. Cherrish Wallace is adding 7.4 points, 3.8 assists and 2.9 rebounds at the points.
Maine ranks third in the league in scoring at 65.0 points per game while giving up 64.8. Maine leads the league in three-point shooting (33.9), sits second in field goal percentage (43.3) and ranks fourth from the free throw line (70.4). The Black Bears, who lead the league in assists (16.6), average 34.3 rebounds and a league-high 7.4 3-point field goals per game.
Albany has won 35-straight America East regular-season games the second-longest streak in America East history behind Maine, which won 37-straight from 1995-97. Albany enters the weekend on a 13-game overall winning streak while leading the league in scoring at 73.0 points per game while giving up a league-low 55.5 points for a scoring differential of +17.5. The Great Danes lead the league in field goal percentage (48.0), and are second in rebounding (39.8). Shereesha Richards leads the Great Dane offense as she is tops in the league in scoring (21.4), rebounding (9.5) and field goal percentage (63.4). Megan Craig is chipping in 12.4 points and 5.7 rebounds and is second in the league in field goal percentage (59.1). Sarah Royals (5.0) and Maragarita Rosario (4.3) are first and second, respectively, in the league in assists per game. Royals is also averaging 11.6 points while Rosario is averaging 7.1 points and is second in the league from the free throw line (83.6).
Maine and Albany will be meeting for the 29th time with the Black Bears holding a 16-12 advantage in the series. Albany has won the last eight meetings. In seven meetings with Albany, Ashleigh Roberts is averaging 11.1 points and 3.6 rebounds, including a 22-point effort last time out. Maine's last win against Albany came on Jan. 28, 2010; a 61-58 decision on the road. Maine last defeated Albany at home on Feb. 18, 2009; a 59-51 victory. Maine won the first ever meeting between the two teams, an 88-58 win on Jan. 12, 2002. The Black Bears won the first 13 meetings in the series.
THE 1000/500 CLUB...
With nine rebounds at Hartford on Feb. 12, Ashleigh Roberts surpassed 500 rebounds for her career. With 1,133 points and 507 rebounds, Roberts is now just the 13th Black Bear to ever record 1,000+ points and 500+ rebounds for her career and the first since Bracey Barker in 2006-07. Roberts currently ranks 13th on Maine's all-time scoring list after passing both Missy Traversi (1,130) and Stacey Porrini (1,128) last time out. Roberts needs just 34 points to move ahead of Barker for 12th all-time. Here's a look at the complete list:
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
Ashleigh Roberts - 1,133/507
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES...
25 games into the 2013-14 season, Maine has already increased its win total +10 from a year ago. That figure is currently tops in the nation in Division-I in terms of total win turn around in the nation. St. Bonaventure (+9) and University of Illinois at Chicago (+9) are the next closest teams.