University of Maine’s Blanca Millan (22) battles for the ball with Brown University’s Erika Steve (31) at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Saturday. Maine defeated Brown 102-96 in overtime to improve to 7-2 on the season. (Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel)

BANGOR — On the Cross Insurance Center court Saturday afternoon, momentum couldn’t make up its mind. Did it want to ride with the University of Maine women’s basketball team, or Brown? The Bears or the Black Bears?

Brown, no wait, Maine. Well, on second thought …

In a game in which both teams saw double-digit leads disappear, it was Maine that held momentum last. The Black Bears pulled away in overtime, taking a 102-96 win.

“It wasn’t the greatest defensive effort. Kudos to Brown. We knew they could score the basketball,” Maine coach Amy Vachon said. “We’re up 16 with four minutes (left) and all of a sudden it’s going into overtime.”

Maine (7-2) overcame a pair of double-digit deficits in the first half, and appeared to take control of the game early in the fourth quarter. Trailing 60-59 entering the fourth, Tanesha Sutton’s jumper with 3:54 to play in regulation gave Maine an 84-68 lead.

Needing to get hot from the perimeter, Brown did. The Bears hit five 3-pointers in the final 3:43 of the fourth. Maine, meanwhile, struggled at the line, going 4 for 10 in the fourth quarter to help Brown fight back into it. Brown made seven threes in the fourth quarter after making five in the first three quarters combined.

“We can definitely shoot, but not like that usually,” said Mary Butler, a Bangor native and Brown senior whose three pulled Brown within four points, 87-83, with 1:20 left. “It was necessity. It was life or death.”

Butler scored 13 points. Brown opened overtime with an Erika Steeves (30 points, 12 rebounds) 3-pointer, but Maine scored the next eight points, taking the lead for good on a Blanca Millan 3 with 3:33 to play.

Millan, who scored her 1,000th career point in Tuesday’s win at Harvard, scored a career-high 36 points.

“(Overtime was) just an opportunity to step up and show that we can really do much better. Everyone stepped up and we got the win,” Millan said.

Throughout the game, Brown used a variety of zone defenses to try to defend the high-scoring Millan. When they worked, other Black Bears stepped up. Sutton scored 21 points, and Parise Rossignol scored 15 of her 25 points in the fourth quarter as Maine built its 16-point lead.

Before the second half, Vachon challenged the Black Bears to remember their individual strengths.

“In my head I’m thinking, I need to make my pull-up jumper. I don’t think I’ve utilized that as much as I should,” Rossignol, who was 10-for-14 from the field, said.

“I thought when we hit the 3 to start the overtime, we were in good shape. But we couldn’t get the stops,” Brown coach Sarah Behn said. “They’re hard to guard. We tried to take (Millan) out a little bit, but somebody else would heat up for them.”

Brown led by 10 points, 26-16, early in the second quarter, but Maine rallied to tie it at 28-28 on a Millan 3. Again, Brown pulled away, going ahead 43-33 on a Steeves layup with 2:03 left in the first half. Maine cut the deficit to 45-39 at the half, and the teams traded the lead four times in the third quarter.

The game was a grind, Rossignol said, pointing to mistakes the Black Bears made. The team can learn from those, she said.

“It’s nice to learn the lessons and win,” Rossignol said.

University of Maine’s Blanca Millan (22) battles for the ball with Brown University’s Shayna Mehta (30) at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Saturday. Maine defeated Brown 102-96 in overtime, advancing to 7-2 on the season. (Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel)

University of Maine’s Maddy McVicar (4) celebrates a 3-pointer against Brown University at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Saturday. Maine defeated Brown 102-96 in overtime to improve to 7-2 on the season. (Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel)

University of Maine’s Tanesha Sutton (23) takes a shot against Brown University at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Saturday. Maine defeated Brown 102-96 in overtime to improve to 7-2 on the season. (Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel)


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