BANGOR — After struggling against a tough non-conference schedule, and adjusting to season-ending injuries to returning starters Blanca Millan and Fanny Wadling in the process, the University of Maine women’s basketball team found a groove in Thursday night’s America East Conference opener against Hartford.

The Black Bears made 12 3-pointers to take an 87-73 win at the Cross Insurance Center. Maine is now 5-10, while Hartford is 0-14.

Calais native Maddy McVicar scored a career-high 20 points, including 13 in the third quarter. Kelly Fogarty led the Black Bears with 23 points, making seven 3-pointers. Maeve Carroll added 18 points for Maine, while Anne Simon scored 15.

Using its ninth starting lineup in 15 games, Maine pulled away over the middle two quarters. McVicar didn’t take a shot in the first half, and coach Amy Vachon told the team that had to change.

“At halftime, that’s kind of an adjustment (Vachon) she told us we had to make. She said ‘Maddy you can’t go zero for zero.’ So I came out shooting and got lucky, I guess,” McVicar said.

McVicar finished 7 for 8 from the floor, including 3 for 3 from three. Fogarty made 7 of 11 3-pointers, and the Black Bears were 12 for 26 as a team from behind the arc.

“I just tried to come out with more confidence. Sometimes we’ve been struggling with our shots. It’s coming out every day ready to go,” Fogarty said.

Tied at 15-15 after one quarter, the Black Bears capitalized on eight Hartford turnovers in the second quarter to build a 10-point lead, 35-25, on a Dor Saar free throw.

Hartford cut Maine’s lead to 37-31 at the half, but the Black Bears quickly pushed the lead to double digits in the third quarter. A McVicar 3-pointer with 8:23 left in the quarter gave Maine a 45-33 lead.

Twenty-three Maine fouls helped keep the Hawks in the game. Hartford was 19 for 29 from the line, and also outrebounded the Black Bears, 41-28. A young team, Hartford had 22 turnovers, and Maine outscored the Hawks 27-11 on points off turnovers.

“I thought we did a lot of good things offensively, had a lot of nice performances from a lot of different people,” Vachon said. “Defensively, we’ve got to be better. We were fouling too much and letting them penetrate.”

Jordan McLemore led Hartford with 18 points. Sierra Smith added 16 points and 13 boards for the Hawks.


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