With a three-game losing streak and still without its best post player, the University of Maine women’s basketball team rolled into Portland on Sunday to play the U.S. Naval Academy.

Navy featured its own struggles, and the Black Bears took advantage for a 46-41 win before a crowd of 1,440 at the Portland Expo.

Blanca Millan (25 points/11 rebounds) and Maeve Carroll (10/14) both had double-doubles for the Black Bears (2-3). Point guard Dor Saar scored eight with six assists.

Navy, coached by former Bowdoin College coach Stefanie Pemper, dropped its third straight and is also 2-3.

The Black Bears have been challenged in the frontcourt without the presence of 6-1 forward Fanny Wadling, a three-year starter who has not played since receiving a concussion in an exhibition game on Nov. 3. Last year, Wadling and now-graduated Tanesha Sutton gave Maine a strong presence in the paint.

Navy, whose tallest starter was 5-10, was a good matchup, and Carroll, a 5-11 junior, played her best game.

“Knowing Fanny is out. I have to step up on the rebounds,” Carroll said. “Knowing Navy was undersized, I knew today could be a good day to get the boards.”

Neither team shot well – Navy 31 percent, Maine 30 percent – but the Black Bears outrebounded the Midshipmen 45-38. Maine grabbed 16 offensive rebounds, including five by 5-foot-4 senior guard Maddy McVicar.

“Maddy is just a really athletic kid,” Maine Coach Amy Vachon said. “When she goes after the ball, she’s hard to box out.”

Vachon said there is no timetable for Wadling’s return, putting more responsibility on Carroll.

“We’re asking Maeve to do a lot as an undersized post,” Vachon said. “The first couple of years, she was just a person off the bench to spell Fanny or Tanesha. This year, she’s really stepped into her role. Today was her best game since she’s been at Maine.”

Still, Maine struggled to score and trailed for the first 15 minutes. The Black Bears relied heavily on Millan, the 6-1 senior guard. Her 3-pointer gave Maine the lead for good, 20-17, with 5:08 left in the first half. At the time, Millan had scored 18 of her team’s points.

“I can see when we’re struggling and I have to take the lead,” Millan said. “Today, I felt good and the shots were going in.”

Navy paid more attention to Millan after halftime.

“We did a better job with her in the second half,” Pemper said. “We held her to seven. She’s so unselfish. When I say, ‘we held her,’ she took what the defense gave her and made smart plays. Other players stepped up for them.”

Maine led by as much as 10 in the fourth quarter, but the Midshipmen closed to 44-41 and had the ball with 1:05 left. But Navy missed a layup, and Saar drained a jumper. On Navy’s last possession, Saar stole a pass with 23 seconds left. Pemper opted not to foul, conceding the game. She said her team is a work in progress.

“We need to find a consistent rotation,” Pemper said. Morgan Taylor, a 5-7 guard, led Navy with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Meanwhile, Maine is back in the win column.

“We’re starting to get back to who we are,” Carroll said.

NOTES: Before the game, Pemper visited friends in the stands. In her 10 years at Bowdoin, she coached a national power with a 235-48 record, nine NCAA appearances and one runner-up finish. Now in her 12th year at Navy, Pemper is the program’s winningest coach (209-143 overall record) and has led the team to three NCAA appearances and three WNIT berths … Pemper was not the only one enjoying a homecoming. Navy senior Montana Braxton was a 2016 Cape Elizabeth High graduate. Braxton started Sunday and scored two points. At Cape Elizabeth, she was the Capers’ MVP her junior year but sat out her senior season with an injury … The Black Bears next play in a tournament in Estero, Florida, this weekend. They return to Bangor for home games on Dec. 4 (Husson) and 7 (Harvard).

UMAINE MEN: Andrew Fleming scored 23 points to lead the University of Maine men’s basketball team to a 90-50 rout of Maine Maritime Academy at the Portland Expo. Maine, which ended a three-game losing streak, improved to 2-3. The Division III Mariners dropped to 2-2.

The game was never in doubt as the Black Bears took a 47-29 halftime lead. Nicholas DePatsy led the Mariners with 11 points.

Maine’s schedule toughens considerably this week with games Wednesday at Virginia, and next Sunday at Connecticut.

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