The University of Maine men’s hockey team has received clearance to host a Hockey East first-round playoff game against New Hampshire on Wednesday, the school announced Sunday.

It will be the first home game this season for the Black Bears, who have been restricted from playing at Alfond Arena because of the state’s 50-person limit on indoor gatherings during the pandemic. No fans will be allowed.

Maine played all 15 of its regular-season games on the road, compiling a 3-10-2 record. The Black Bears concluded the regular season with a 3-3 tie at UMass on Friday.

The breakthrough for Wednesday’s game was reached through updates to game-operation plans and ongoing interpretation and clarification of existing state guidance by university leaders in consultation with state officials, the school announced in a news release. On Friday, Gov. Janet Mills announced the state would soon be easing restrictions on crowd gatherings.

The arena will be separated into two indoor gathering spaces for at most 50 people each, according to the news release. Only personnel deemed essential will be allowed.

Wednesday’s game will be played at 4:30 p.m. or 7 p.m., pending a final league determination. Maine is ranked eighth in the Hockey East Power Index to determine playoff seeding. New Hampshire (5-13-3) is ranked 10th, but No. 9 Merrimack has ended its season and isn’t participating in the playoffs.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

(1) UCONN 84, VILLANOVA 39: Christyn Williams scored 26 points and UConn (23-1) used a stifling defense to overwhelm Villanova (15-6) in the semifinals of the Big East tournament in Uncasville, Connecticut.

(3) NORTH CAROLINA STATE 58, (5) LOUISVILLE 56: Raina Perez hit a tiebreaking jumper from near the left elbow with 2.1 seconds left to help the Wolfpack (20-2) beat the Cardinals (23-3) for their second straight Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title, in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Elissa Cunane scored 20 points to lead the Wolfpack.

(4) STANFORD 75, (9) UCLA 55: Kiana Williams scored 26 points to lead the Cardinal (25-2) to the Pac 12 tournament championship with a win over the Bruins (16-5) in Las Vegas.

(7) SOUTH CAROLINA 67, (16) GEORGIA 62: Aliyah Boston had 27 points and 10 rebounds, and the Gamecocks (22-4) pulled away in the third quarter at Greenville, South Carolina, to win their second straight Southeastern Conference tournament title – and sixth in the last seven years.

COLBY 78, SOUTHERN MAINE 72: Caroline Smith scored 13 of her 19 points in the fourth quarter as the Mules (2-0) held off the Huskies (1-5) in Gorham.

Keagan Dunbar added 18 points.

Victoria Harris scored 15 points off the bench for USM. Jackie Luckhardt finished with 14 points and Kristen Curley had 12.

ST. JOSEPH’S 72, UMAINE-AUGUSTA 29: Four players scored in double figures for the Monks (2-0), led by Cassandra Stapelfeld with 16 points, as they handled the Moose (0-4) in Standish.

Alyson Fillion and Kaleigh Walsh each added 11 points, and Jayne Howe had 10.

Sydney LeBlanc paced UMA with 17 points.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

MICHIGAN STATE 70, (2) MICHIGAN 64: Rocket Watts scored 21 points and Aaron Henry had 18 as the Spartans (15-11, 9-11 Big Ten) boosted their NCAA tournament hopes with a win over the Wolverines (19-3, 14-3) in East Lansing, Michigan.

(3) BAYLOR 88, (18) TEXAS TECH 73: MaCio Teague scored 35 points while matching a school record with 10 3-pointers, and the Bears (21-1, 13-1 Big 12) beat the Red Raiders (17-9, 9-8) to finish undefeated at home for the first time in 73 years.

(5) IOWA 77, (25) WISCONSIN 73: Luka Garza scored 21 points and had 16 rebounds as the Hawkeyes (20-7, 14-6) defeated the Badgers (16-11, 10-10) in Iowa City, Iowa.

(9) HOUSTON 67, MEMPHIS 64: Tramon Mark banked in a 3-pointer from 35 feet as time expired to give the Cougars (21-3, 14-3 American Athletic) a win over the Tigers (15-7, 11-4) in Houston.

(15) TEXAS 76, TCU 64: Andrew Jones scored 16 points while making all four of his 3-pointers, and the Longhorns (17-7, 11-6 Big 12) beat the Horned Frogs (12-13, 5-11) for their third straight road victory.

(20) LOYOLA CHICAGO 75, DRAKE 65: Cameron Krutwig and Braden Norris scored 20 points apiece as the Ramblers (24-4, 16-2) beat the Bulldogs (25-4, 15-3) in the Missouri Valley Conference championship game at St. Louis.

COLBY 87, SOUTHERN MAINE 68: Will King notched a triple-double for the Mules as they opened their season with a win over the Huskies (2-2) in Waterville.

King finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists and four blocks. Alec McGovern led Colby with 19 points, and Jonah Obi had 13 points and 14 rebounds.

Jacobe Thomas and Chance Dixon scored 15 points apiece for USM. Jason Lombard contributed 14 points and eight rebounds.

ST. JOSEPH’S 87, UMAINE-AUGUSTA 74: Jack Casale and Nicholas Curtis combined for 44 points as the Monks (2-0) completed a weekend sweep of the Moose (2-3) in Standish.

Casale had 23 points and nine rebounds, while Curtis finished with 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Ashtyn Abbott added 12 points and eight rebounds.

Nathaniel Henderson and Elijah Smith each scored 18 points for UMA. Henderson also grabbed 10 rebounds. Jalaughn Jackson tossed in 14 points.

BASEBALL

MAINE SPLITS WITH MERRIMACK: Jake Rainess hit a go-ahead three-run homer as Maine (3-1) rallied for eight runs in the ninth inning to earn a doubleheader split with Merrimack (1-3) in North Andover, Massachusetts, winning 14-9 in Game 2 after dropping the opener, 4-0.

In Game 1, Joey Porricelli hit a two-run homer and Riley Sorenson allowed just four hits over seven innings for Merrimack.

Connor Goodman had a pair of RBI singles during Maine’s ninth-inning rally in Game 2, which came after the Black Bears blew an early 6-1 lead.

WOMEN’S SOCCER

NEW HAMPSHIRE 1, MAINE 0: A goal from Francesca Picicci in the 94th minute gave the Wildcats (4-0-0, 1-0-0 America East) the edge over the Black Bears (0-3-0, 0-1-0) in Durham, N.H.

Maine keeper Kira Kutzinski make six saves, while New Hampshire’s Cat Sheppard stopped two shots.

MEN’S LACROSSE

ST. JOSEPH’S 18, MAINE MARITIME 7: Brendan Martin recorded five goals and two assists, Max Lacy contributed four goals and two assists, and Shane Puleo had three goals and four assists for the Monks in a season-opening win against the Mariners in Castine.

Jayden Wilson led MMA with three goals and an assist.


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