AUGUSTA — The University of Maine at Augusta women’s basketball team looks pretty comfortable on the floor at the Augusta Civic Center, despite never practicing there.

The Moose led from start to finish Wednesday night and beat Eastern Maine Community College 65-48 in a Yankee Small College Conference matchup.

“This is the first time we’ve set foot on this floor,” UMA coach Jennifer Laney said.

The Moose (2-0) play home games at the civic center but practice at the Kennebec Valley YMCA. With its backboards several feet from the wall, the civic center court often causes depth perception problems, particularly with outside shooters. That’s not the case for UMA sophomore Jenn Lola, who’s played many times on the floor while at Monmouth Academy.

“I love playing here,” said Lola, who scored 16 points, including three 3-pointers. “I’m so used to playing here.”

Erskine Academy graduate Ashley Peaslee, the senior point guard for the Moose, has played her share of games on the court, too. Wednesday, she had a huge game with 18 points, nine rebounds and six steals. Last season, Peaslee led United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) with 6.7 steals per game.

“I would say she’s probably one of the quickest players in our league,” Laney said.

Dexter High School graduate Katie Poirier gives the Moose a presence in the paint. Wednesday, she scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in a game that grew more physical as it wore on.

“It was out of control out there,” Poirier said. “If the officials aren’t going to call it, you’ve got to give it back to them.”

The Golden Eagles (0-1) fell behind 11-3 early on when Lola hit a right-side 3-pointer. They trailed 28-15 at the half, but drew to within eight early in the second half when freshman Ashley Thayer (14 points) contributed seven points in an 11-6 run. Poirier responded by sandwiching a pair of layups, both off assists from Lola, around a basket by Ashley Dyer. The Moose ran their lead to 19 following a layup from Peaslee and two hoops from Lola, the second a 3-pointer.

“We definitely a good team,” said Lola, who returned to the team this season after a two-year layoff. “We do a lot of team bonding.”

The Moose have filled in nicely around Peaslee, Lola and Poirier. Dyer is a returning veteran while freshman Kristi Cessna (nine rebounds), Katie Gayne, Winslow graduate Haley Madore and Winthrop graduate Sasha Flaherty each made contributions.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]


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