Thomas College guard Karli Stubbs, left, goes for a rebound during a game against the University of Maine at Farmington on Saturday in Waterville. Contributed photo/Thomas College Athletics

WATERVILLE — Sitting at a table in a classroom next to the Larry Mahaney Gymnasium, the rattling off of previous season records did not sound great at first to Addie Brinkman, Malorie Weaver and Karli Stubbs.

Last season, it was 6-19. During the 2017-2018 season, it was 9-16. The 2016-2017 provided a record of 7-18.

But for three of the veteran members of the Thomas College women’s basketball team, those numbers are a reminder of why this season is so special.

Entering the week, the Terriers have an overall record of 9-10. More importantly, Thomas is 7-1 in North Atlantic Conference play, good enough for third place in the conference.

Thomas College center Malorie Weaver plays defense against the University of Maine at Farmington on Saturday at the Larry Mahaney Gym in Waterville. Contributed photo/Thomas College Athletics

With six games remaining in the regular season, the Terriers are virtually guaranteed to have its first season of 10 wins or more since 2007-2008. But the question remains. What caused the turnaround for this season?

“I think the commitment level is there,” Weaver, a senior center and Erskine Academy graduate, said. “This is my fourth year, and this has been the most committed I’ve seen everyone. We all jell. We’re having fun. I think that’s the biggest thing.”

“It’s the right group of kids,” sixth-year Thomas head coach Emily Cummins said. “One of my favorite teams that I’ve had since I’ve been here. It’s like (the players) said, it’s the chemistry. They all get along, they all hang out. There’s no cliques or pettiness that you have to worry about within the team. I think they have their heads on straight, they have a goal and they keep plugging away at it.”

Statistically-speaking, Thomas is showing great ball distribution on the floor. Four members of the starting five are averaging more than 10 points per game. Sophomore guard Kaylee Ravagli leads the group, averaging 13.3 points per game. Weaver (11. 6 ppg, 6.7 rebounds per game  and Brinkman (11.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg) — a junior forward and Mt. Blue graduate — lead the group in the post and on the boards.

“I think we all have the right mindset and attitude, every single day,” Brinkman said. “We’re very consistent.”

Stubbs, a senior guard, averages 11.5 points per game and leads the squad in minutes per game (34.6).

“They’re reading each other really well (on the court),” Cummins said. “The off-court chemistry to the on-court chemistry, it just kind of brings everything together. But they read each other on the court. Somebody will cut, the other person knows they are cutting and there’s the ball. They’re very, very unselfish. When we talk about ball movement, ball movement gets everybody involved. It’s not ball movement to get one player the ball. With our scoring and how across the board it is, it’s anybody’s game, any night.”

But the Terriers are not the only program in the area experiencing a turnaround. Their rival, the University of Maine at Farmington, is one spot higher in the NAC standings. The Beavers (10-8) are 7-0 in NAC play, and after topping the Terriers 58-53 on Saturday in Waterville, UMF has the edge in regular-season play. The two programs meet again in the regular-season finale Feb. 18 in Farmington.

UMF has already improved from last season’s 6-20 (6-8 NAC) record. The last time the Beavers have won 10 games or more was the 2015-2016 season with an 11-15 record. Both the Beavers and Terriers qualified for the NAC tournament last season. Both teams fell in the quarterfinal round, UMF to Northern Vermont-Lyndon, Thomas to SUNY Canton.

UMF has a large roster with 17 players, giving the Beavers plenty of depth off the bench, which head coach Jamie Beaudoin said has been a factor in the team’s success.

“I think the biggest difference with our team is just more players that, with their skill set, gives us a chance to be more competitive,” Beaudoin said. “It just gives us more options. I think we’re a deeper team, a more talented team than we’ve been recently. We just notice it in practice. The level of play in our practice has dramatically improved and had led to us being more competitive and obviously it’s showing in our conference games.”

The Beavers are led this season by junior forward and Messalonskee graduate McKenna Brodeur. A two-sport athlete (she plays soccer in the fall) at UMF, Brodeur leads the Beavers with 13.3 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game.

“She demands a lot of attention from our opponents,” Beaudoin said. “She has the ability to score in tight areas. She’s a great passer… She’s a standout athlete at the college level in two sports. And she makes plays for us, whether it’s with the ball or with rebounding. She always gives us an option, when we need a basket, we can find a way to get her the ball.”

Both teams have a tough final stretch of games. Thomas plays Husson — first place in the NAC with a 10-7 (7-0) record — twice. The Terriers also have two games against Maine Maritime Academy, a team that has the most overall wins (13-4) in the conference, with a 5-1 conference record.

UMF has two games against Husson, two games against Maine Maritime, and the program’s first trip ever to SUNY Canton on Feb. 7 and 8.

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