Women's Basketball Falls to Fairfield in WBI Quarterfinals, 63-50
FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- It truly proved to be a tale of two halves for the University of Maine women's basketball team (17-15) who dropped its Women's Basketball Invitational quarterfinal at Fairfield (22-10) by a score of 63-50. Maine, who improved +13 wins on a season ago, was led by senior Ashleigh Roberts (Wilmington, Del.) who totaled 24 points, 20 of which coming in the second half, in her final game with the Black Bears.
Maine, who was outscored 37-13 in the opening half, found its stride in the second half as it produced a 37-26 second half advantage. The Black Bears finished the game 20-for-59 from the floor (33.9-percent).
Liz Wood (Catlett, Va.) added 11 points, six rebounds and seven steals while Courtney Anderson (Greene, Maine) contributed six points and four rebounds off the bench. Roberts, who went 8-for-12 from the floor and 7-for-7 from the free throw line, ends her career ranked ninth all-time in scoring at Maine with 1,248 points.
Fairfield used a hot shooting first half to take a significant edge in the opening frame. The Stags went 15-for-20 (75.0-percent) in the half while Maine struggled from the floor, shooting 6-for-27 (22.2-percent), including an 0-for-9 mark from beyond the arc.
The Stags took an early 12-4 lead, after starting the game on a 4-0 sprint, before Wood's jumper stopped the rush and cut the lead to six.
Fairfield took off in the half from the 13:30 mark as it strung together a 15-1 run, extending its lead to 20 before Mikaela Gustafsson (Sodertalje, Sweden) knocked down a jumper. The hoop was Maine's first field go over a seven-plus minute stretch.
Fairfield's hot hand continued as it put together another lengthy run, this time an 8-2 sprint, to take its largest lead of the half at 35-9. A pair of late baskets from Roberts and Sigi Koizar (Vienna, Austria) sent the game into the half with the Black Bears trailing 37-13.
Maine seemed to re-charge at the half as it looked more fluent in its offense in the second half. Anderson's bucket started a short 5-0 spurt, capped on a 3-pointer from Wood, Maine's first trey of the game.
Maine was able to chip the lead down to 44-27 on a 7-0 run from Roberts. Maine's senior did a little bit of everything on the run, hitting a pair of free throws before knocking down a three and capping her sprint with a layup.
Trailing 46-27, Maine continued to charge as it put together an 8-0 run to chip the lead down to 11. Back-to-back free throws from Roberts and a layup from the senior continued Maine's offensive charge. A layup from Koizar and two more from Roberts brought the Black Bears, who were once down 26, to within 11 with under 10 to play.
Maine kept plugging but it would fail to close the gap any further, falling 63-50 to the Stags. Maine finishes its season 17-15 overall.