Jenn Lola is back for her third stint with the University of Maine at Augusta basketball team and looks better than ever.

The Monmouth Academy graduate recently set two UMA records — most points (39) and 3-pointers (8) in a game — in a win against Penn College and is closing in on 1,000 points for her career.

Lola played the second semester of the 2008-09 season for UMA, after leaving the University of Southern Maine where she was recruited to play for the Huskies but did not take the court. She returned for the 2011-2012 season, then came back again this year. In between each stint, she had a son, her latest, Easton, is seven months ago.

“I’ve played basketball my whole life,” Lola said. “I figured this was going to be my last year with two kids. I need to start my career.”

A criminal justice major, Lola plans to graduate in the spring with an eye toward working with kids as a juvenile probation officer. For now, she’s thriving on the court.

“Lola always impresses me,” UMA coach Jennifer Laney said. “She shows a lot of the same skill level and talent, but she’s a little bit older and a little bit wiser.”

The 5-foot-9 Lola can play any position on the court, Laney said, but she is at her best coming off the wing. Against Penn College, she hit 7-of-9 3-pointers in the first half.

“She just unleashed,” Laney said. “We had a pretty big lead so I didn’t play her much. I realized she was so close (to the records) I put her in during the second half a couple of minutes.”

Lola connected on her only 3-point attempt in the second half and also grabbed 12 rebounds. She held previous UMA records for 3-pointers (7) and points in a game (37). Getting in shape after her second child was more difficult than the first time around.

“It’s still really hard,” she said.”It’s definitely different after the second kid. I’m getting there slowly. I’m not as quick as I was but I can see everything better.”

This year’s team is talented and close with good scorers and all-around players.

“I’m really excited,’ said Lola, who is a team captain. “We’ve got a good group of girls. We mesh well together.”

As a captain, Lola said she takes on sort of a motherly role, helping players when she can, on and off the court. And she hasn’t lost that competitive edge she showed as a three-sport athlete in high school.

“She’s got that fire inside of her which is something great for our team,” Laney said.

Lola should eclipse 1,000 points for her career by the Christmas break which will mean she did it in just four semesters. She told Laney she didn’t want to know how far away she was from the milestone. At Monmouth, she missed reaching it by just 23 points and didn’t find out until the season was over.

“It’s really important to me,” she said. “Not to have the record. My mom passed away in a car accident (last year).. I’m more or less doing it for her.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638[email protected]Twitter: @GaryHawkinsKJ

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