ORONO — It took a half for the University of Maine women’s basketball team to figure things out offensively and take care of the basketball Wednesday night. Once that happened, there was no backslide.

Ahead by only one point against Binghamton at halftime, Maine pulled away late in the third quarter and earned a 64-54 win in an America East quarterfinal. With a crowd of 1,065 fans in the Pit, led in cheers by a large contingent of Maine football players, the third-seeded Black Bears advanced to a semifinal Sunday at No. 2 Albany.

“The first half, we call kind of rushed a little bit. Once we figured it out in the second half, we made good plays. Our confidence went up,” said Anne Simon, who scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds in her third game back from a sprained ankle.

Maine (16-13) split a pair of regular-season games against Albany, each winning at home.

No. 6 Binghamton ends the season at 13-17. This was the second game in five days between these teams, after they closed the regular season against each other in the Pit on Saturday.

“We knew we were going to have our hands full with them, just paying them a couple days ago. I felt like in the first half, our team and our coaches, everyone was just really high strung. I think we relaxed in the second half and executed a lot better,” Maine Coach Amy Vachon said. “We felt like we were turning it over because we were passing up shots. We did a better job in the second half.”


After turning the ball over 11 times in the first half, the Black Bears had just once turnover in the second half. Maine went 15 for 16 at the free-throw line, including 11 for 12 in the fourth quarter. Binghamton was just 4 for 9 at the line.

“I think they just got a spark,” said Binghamton guard Denai Bowman, who scored 16 points. “They’re a shooting team. Everyone knows that. They started hitting shots.”

Ahead 50-47 with seven minutes left, Maine pushed its lead to 10 with a 7-0 run. Olivia Rockwood’s free throws with 5:42 to play gave Maine a 57-47 lead.

“I should’ve called a timeout quicker. That’s on me. Let us get back on track. I blame myself for that,” said Binghamton Coach Bethann Shapiro Ord.

After struggling to make shots throughout the first half, the Black Bears found their touch in the third quarter, especially from the perimeter, making 5 of 9 3-pointers to take a 46-41 lead into the fourth. Rockwood (11 points) sank three 3s in the third.

“I was just shooting with confidence when I was open,” Rockwood said.


Maine led 25-24 at halftime after a poor shooting half for both teams. Ahead 14-10 after one quarter, Maine lost the lead when Binghamton opened the second with a 7-0 run. The Black Bears regained the lead when Adrianna Smith made a short jumper with 4:30 left in the half.

Smith scored 31 points and grabbed 19 rebounds in Maine’s 69-65 win over the Bearcats on Saturday. Wednesday night, Binghamton double-teamed her in the paint and held Smith, the America East Player of the Year, to 13 points. Seven of those points came in the third quarter. Smith also had 12 rebounds and five assists, finding open teammates when she didn’t have a clean shot.

“It’s hard to double her because she can see the floor so well. When she’s on and making those passes and our shooters are knocking them down, it can be a tough combination,” Vachon said.

Genevieve Coleman had 16 points and six rebounds for Binghamton, while Jaydn Weltz added 14 points.

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