BANGOR —At 5-foot-4, senior Maddy McVicar is the smallest member of the University of Maine women’s basketball team. Yet there she was, putting the Black Bears on her shoulders Sunday afternoon.

On a day seniors were honored, McVicar scored a career-high 28 points, to go with four assists, four steals and a block. McVicar scored seven of Maine’s nine overtime points, leading the Black Bears to their most impressive conference win of the season, 64-62 over America East-leading Stony Brook, which had its 22-game winning streak snapped.

“I guess I had the hot hand today,” McVicar said, crediting the loud crowd of 2,093 for feeding the Black Bears’ energy. “When they have that much energy, it makes it easy for us to have energy on the court. I think the fans were a big part of it.”

It was the sixth consecutive win for the Black Bears (14-14, 10-4 America East Conference), who are a game ahead of UMass-Lowell for second place with two games to play. It was the first conference loss of the season for Stony Brook (25-2, 13-1 America East), which already clinched the top seed in the upcoming tournament.

McVicar entered Sunday’s game averaging just over nine points per game. Her 9 of 18 from the field included 6 for 11 from 3-point range. McVicar’s final 3 came with 1:39 left in overtime and gave the Black Bears the lead for good at 62-60.

“Maddy played a heck of a game. Twenty-eight points, she guards (KK) Hilaire most of the game, made her work for everything she got,” Maine Coach Amy Vachon said.

The Seawolves’ leading scorer at 13.5 points per game, Hilaire had 14 points, but on 6-for-16 shooting. Hilaire spent the entire second half in foul trouble, and with that in mind, McVicar attacked, often driving for a layup.

“I think it’s just coming in the flow of the game. In the end (of the game), Hilaire had four fouls, so that’s who you’re trying to attack, and she happened to be guarding me,” McVicar said.

“It was Senior Night, and she played like a senior. It’s what you want your seniors to do, and she did that tonight,” Stony Brook Coach Caroline McCombs said of McVicar. “If they’re hot, it’s tough, because we can’t match 10 3s in a game. We can do other things to create three-point plays and try to get to the free-throw line.”

Stony Brook led 24-21 at the half, and the Black Bears pulled ahead late in the third quarter. Dor Saar’s 3 at the buzzer, her first points of the game, gave Maine a 44-39 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Maine pushed its lead to 52-41 on McVicar’s 3 with 7:33 to play, but the Seawolves fought back. Cheyenne Clark’s layup with 48 seconds left cut Maine’s lead to 55-53. With 13 seconds to play, Clark hit 1 of 2 foul shots, but hustled and got the rebound of her miss on the second one and was fouled, going back to the line with the chance to give the Seawolves the lead with 8.5 seconds left. Clark made 1 of 2, and the game went to OT when Maine was unable to get a shot in the closing seconds.

The teams traded the lead twice in overtime before McVicar’s 3 put the Black Bears ahead for good

“It’s just the little things that we’ve got to do throughout the game that they did more than us. We just came up short today,” Hilaire said. “Maine is good at 3s. If you let them hit 3s, most likely they’re going to win the game.”

India Pagan led Stony Brook with 15 points. Anne Simon (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Maeve Carroll (11 points, 11 boards) each had a double-double for Maine, which hung tough on the glass against the bigger Seawolves, grabbing 40 rebounds to Stony Brook’s 45.

“Before this  game, we made a huge emphasis on rebounding. They’re a really good offensive rebounding team. We let it slip a little bit at the end, but we made it a point of boxing out everybody today,” Carroll said.

Maine closes the regular season with conference games on the road at New Hampshire on Wednesday and at Maryland-Baltimore County on Saturday.


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