BANGOR — Sigi Koizar was the only Maine women’s basketball player who showed any drive in the first half Wednesday.

And the junior point guard drove relentlessly, around one, two or even three Central Connecticut State defenders to make 7 of 8 shots.

By the second half, Koizar’s teammates were ready to do their share and the Black Bears pummeled the Blue Devils 62-42 in their home opener at Cross Insurance Center.

“Without her I think we would have been down double digits,” said Maine Coach Richard Barron. “We just weren’t playing inspired basketball at either end of the floor.”

Koizar scored 15 of her game-high 21 points in the opening half, including a layup and a step-back jumper in the final 44 seconds to give her team a 29-27 halftime lead.

That’s when Barron hammered his team for a lackluster showing, especially on defense. Maine (3-2) allowed Central Connecticut (1-4) to make only 4 of 20 shots in the second half.

Liz Wood was the catalyst of that effort. She finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four steals after giving herself a pep talk.

“I think it was just heart,” Wood said of Maine’s second-half turnaround.

“Our effort really wasn’t there in the first half and I think, especially for me, that’s been kind of a recurring theme. Not necessarily that I wasn’t caring about the game, but just wasn’t approaching the game with an intensity that I needed to.”

Koizar was happy to welcome the rest of her undermanned team into the fray.

“I was just being aggressive with it,” she said of her first half. “Then if I’m being aggressive, that will set things for other people, and that’s what I saw in the second half.”

Maine played without injured starting guard Chantel Charles and reserve forward Sheraton Jones. Barron used only seven players for most of the game, with the tireless Koizar logging 37 minutes. He said he’s not sure if Charles will be healthy enough to take the court when his team plays four more games in the next six days.

The Black Bears hustled out of the arena to catch a plane to Florida, where they will begin a three-day tournament with a Friday game against Dayton.

Barron said he wasn’t concerned about fatigue, but was growing alarmed at his team’s slow starts.

“We’ve got to be focused. We just can’t kind of wait to the second half and turn on the switch,” he said. “We do that against Dayton and the game will be over in the first quarter.

“This is a tough test for us and we’ve got to go dictate our own pace of play and our own intensity, and not go out and just kind of feel our way through and see what’s good enough to maybe get through.”

Bella Swan started in place of Charles and finished with 10 points and three assists. Center Mikaela Gustafsson scored 11 as Maine showed some terrific interior passing and finished with 38 points in the paint.

Maine also benefited from a switch to man-to-man defense in the second half. The Black Bears scored 15 points off 16 Blue Devil turnovers.

“When it’s more personal like that and you’ve got somebody and you just want to shut them down, you can focus on really just taking your assignment and doing your best with that,” Wood said.

Maine returns home for a 7 p.m. game Tuesday against Colby.

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