Morning Sentinel file photo by Michael G. Seamans The University of Maine women’s basketball team takes the court before hosting Duke last month at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

Following Saturday’s 102-96 overtime win over Brown, the University of Maine women’s basketball team had a week to practice and recharge its batteries before hitting the road again for Saturday’s game at North Carolina State.

“It’s been a grind. We’ve had a lot of games since November 15. It will be nice to home for a little bit, and sleep in our own beds and get a little extra practice in, work on ourselves instead of prepare for other teams,” head coach Amy Vachon said following the win over Brown.

The Brown game was just the third home game of the season for the Black Bears (7-2), who now have four more road game before they’re back home at the Cross Insurance Center for the America East Conference opener against New Hampshire on January 2. After playing at NC State Saturday, Maine is off until a Dec. 22 game at Northeastern. The Black Bears play in the Fordham Holiday Classic Dec. 29-30.

NC State is Maine’s third ACC opponent of the season. The Black Bears lost to Duke and former head coach Joanne McCallie, 66-63, at home Nov. 15. Maine won at North Carolina, 85-73, on Dec. 2.

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The Colby College men’s basketball team enter the holiday break at 8-2. A key for the Mules has been scoring balance. While averaging 89.3 points per game, Colby has received offensive contributions from a number of players.

Six players have led the Mules in scoring this season. Junior guard Sam Jefferson led Colby in scoring four times in the first 10 games. Alex Dorion led the Mules twice. Noah Tyson, Ronan Schwartz, Matt Hanna, and Sean Gilmore each led Colby in scoring once.

“When I get hot, that takes the pressure off the other guys a little bit. When (defenders) start flying out at me, it opens other people up,” Jefferson said after scoring a team-high 22 points in last week’s 92-76 win at the University of Maine at Farmington.

Led by Jefferson’s 16.6 points per game, five Mules average at least 11 points. Gilmore is close behind at 9.6 points per game. As a team, the Mules average 41.3 percent from 3-point range, making just under 14 threes per game. Colby is 26th in NCAA Division III in 3-point percentage, fifth in attempts, and fourth in 3-pointers made.

Colby returns from the break on January 4, to begin New England Small College Athletic Conference play at home against Tufts. The Mules already have wins over rivals Bates and Bowdoin. The rematch with Bates is Jan. 5, while Colby faces Bowdoin again Jan. 19.

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Messalonskee High grad Nick Mayo enters Saturday’s game at Xavier needing just seven points to become Eastern Kentucky’s all-time scoring leader. The 6-foot-9 Mayo averages 24.4 points per game for the Colonels, 10th-best in Division I. With seven points, Mayo passes Matt Witt at the top of EKU’s scoring leaderboard.

It’s been a strong start to the season for Mayo and the Colonels, who enter Saturday’s game with a 6-4 record. Mayo already has two buzzer-beating game winning shots this season. Mayo’s fadeaway jumper from the right wing as time expired lifted EKU to a 76-74 win over Northern Kentucky. On Dec. 1, Mayo’s 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the Colonels a 70-69 win at High Point.

For the third consecutive season, Mayo is on the Lou Henson Award watch list. The award is presented annually to the top mid-major player in Division I men’s basketball.

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There was no movement for the two Maine teams in the d3hoops.com women’s basketball top 25 this week. Bowdoin (8-0) is still No. 1, while St. Joseph’s (9-0) held on to the No. 12 spot.

Bowdoin earned 18 of a possible 25 first place votes. The Polar Bears are off until Dec. 29, when they’ll host Wheaton.

St. Joe’s was scheduled to host UMaine-Farmington Thursday at 5. Jordan Jabar, a sophomore from Waterville, has started all nine games for the Monks, averaging four points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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