ORONO, Maine -- The University of Maine women's basketball team (15-13, 9-6 America East) closes its most successful regular season since 2004-05 when it travels to take on New Hampshire (18-10, 12-3 AE) on Saturday at 1 PM. The game will be broadcast live on Fox College Sports Atlantic. A key stat to look at will be New Hampshire's top ranked 3-point defense (27.8%) against Maine's top-ranked 3-point offense (33.9%).
FOX COLLEGE SPORTS ATLANTIC...
Fans can watch the Black Bears take on New Hampshire live on Fox College Sports Atlantic. Channel listings can be found at this link. Due to scheduling, DirecTV will not carry Saturday's contest.
A LOOK AT THE BLACK BEARS...
The Black Bears, who have totaled their most wins overall and in league play since the 2004-05 season, look to cap their season by locking up the #4 seed in the America East tournament with a win at New Hampshire. Maine enters the contest fresh off an 84-65 drubbing of UMass Lowell in which the Black Bears pulled down 57 rebounds; its most since a 63 rebound effort against Kennesaw State on Nov. 25, 2005. The Black Bears attempted 77 field goals in the win, a season-high and their most since tossing up 79 against Delaware on Dec. 10, 2000. Liz Wood carried the way against UMass Lowell as she narrowly missed out on a triple-double with 20 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists, her fourth double-double of the season and ninth overall. Ashleigh Roberts moved into 11th place overall in scoring as she added 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Roberts leads the Maine offense as she ranks sixth in the league in scoring (13.3), third in field goal percentage (48.8) and 17th in rebounding (5.6). Last time out, Roberts moved past both Bracey Barker (1,166) and Heather Briggs (1,176) on Maine's all-time scoring list and now stands just 17 points away from 10th all-time. Liz Wood helps Maine to success in a number of different ways as she ranks seventh in both scoring (12.3) and rebounding (6.7), tenth in field goal percentage (43.0), ninth in assists (3.0), sixth in steals (2.0) and ninth in minutes (31.1). Cherrish Wallace runs the point for Maine as she is chipping in 8.4 points and a team-high 3.7 assists. Sigi Koizar spells Wallace at the point off the bench is is adding a nice punch with 5.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists. Lauren Bodine continues to lead the league in 3-point percentage (43.4) and 3-pointers made per game (2.1).
The Black Bears rank third in the league in scoring at 65.4 points per game while giving up 64.9. Maine ranks second in field goal percentage (42.9), first in 3-point percentage (33.9) and fifth from the free throw line (69.3). The Black Bears lead the league in assists (16.9) and sit sixth in rebounding (35.4) and fifth in steals (7.1).
SCOUTING NEW HAMPSHIRE...
The Wildcats enter winners of four of their last five afte rmost recently dropping a 60-47 decision at home to regular season league champion Albany. Kelsey Hogan and Corinne Coia each rank in the top 10 in the league in scoring, chipping in 12.1 and 12.0 points per game, respectively. Hogan ranks sixth in the league in assists (3.2) while shooting a second-best 82.6-percent from the free throw line. Coia ranks 11th in the league in rebounding (6.0) and fourth in field goal percentage (48.4). Elizabeth Belanger is chipping in 9.9 points per game while leading the team in rebounding at 6.6; eighth best among league leaders.
New Hampshire ranks sixth in the league in scoring with 60.6 points per game but boast the league's second-ranked defense after allowing 58.3 points. New Hampshire sits second in the league in free throw shooting (73.2), third from the floor (40.8) and sixth from beyond the arc (28.4). The Wildcats 36.5 rebounds per game rank them fourth in the league.
NEW HAMPSHIRE SERIES...
Maine and New Hampshire will be meeting tonight for the 79th time in history with Maine holding a 46-32 advantage in the all-time series. The Black Bears played their first ever game in their 50 year history against New Hampshire. This game took place in 1920 and was won by New Hampshire, 15-13. New Hampshire has won the last eight meetings including a 74-73 buzzer beating victory in Maine earlier this season. Liz Wood led Maine last time out against New Hampshire with 18 points as she enters the series averaging 14.3 points in three career meeting with the Wildcats. Maine's last win in the series came on Feb. 16, 2010 when it defeated New Hampshire by a score of 69-61 in Orono. The Black Bears last defeated New Hampshire in Durham on Jan. 12, 2010 by a score of 65-61.
TO PUT THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE...
In the past three years, the Black Bears have recorded a total of 16 wins. With a win at New Hampshire, Maine would have 16 wins on the year, equaling its total win total over the past three years combined. A win would also give Maine 10 conference wins, passing its last three season total (9).
The Black Bears are officially locked into the 4/5 game in the America East tounrnament where they will meet Hartford. This is officially the highest seeding the Black Bears have earned in the tournament since being the #1 overall seed in 2005. This will also be the first year in which Maine has not played in the low-seed contest or the play-in game since it was a #6 seed in 2007. With a win, Maine will clinch the #4 seed. With a loss and a Hartford win, it will be the #5 seed.
BIG NIGHT/SENIOR NIGHT...
The Black Bears posted big numbers on senior night, Feb. 26, against UMass Lowell. Maine tallied 84 points in the win. The Black Bears pulled down 57 rebounds, their most since a 63 rebound effort on Nov. 25, 2005 against Kennesaw State, and attempted 77 field goals, the most since 79 attempts on Dec. 10, 2000 against Delaware. Maine also tallied 28 assists, its most of the season and just six shy of the all-time record set in 1983-84.
CONFERENCE 3-POINT MARKS...
Looking towards all-time conference marks, Maine's 211 3-pointers currently ranks 12 3-point field goals out of first place all-time for 3-pointers made in a season (223) while its 623 attempts are just 37 shy of first all-time (660). UMBC currently holds the all-time 3-pointers made in a season mark at 223 in 2007-08 and also took 660 3-point attempts, highest ever in the conference, that same year.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES...
28 games into the 2013-14 season, Maine has already increased its win total +11 from a year ago. That figure currently ranks in the top three, with St. Bonaventure (+12) and University of Illinois at Chicago (+11), for top turn arounds in the nation.
THE 1000/500 CLUB...
With nine rebounds at Hartford on Feb. 12, Ashleigh Roberts surpassed 500 rebounds for her career. With 1,177 points and 528 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 11th on Maine's all-time scoring list after passing both Heather Briggs (1,176) and Bracey Barker (1,166) on Feb. 26 against UMass Lowell. Roberts needs just 18 points to move ahead of Tracey Frenette (1,194) for 10th all-time in scoring. Here's a look at the complete list of 1000/500 rebounders:
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
Ashleigh Roberts - 1,177/528
Heather Briggs - 1,176/663
Bracey Barker - 1,166/555
Stacey Porrini - 1,128/929