PETERSBURG, Virginia — The University of Maine at Augusta women’s basketball team ended its season on a high note Wednesday.

The Moose beat Penn State-Lehigh Valley 68-67 in a United States Collegiate Athletic Association Division II Women’s Small College Basketball national tournament consolation game at Richard Bland College.

Freshman guard Alisyn Alley scored 21 points and had 10 assists for the Moose, who finished 23-8. Senior guard Sydney Farrar and senior forward Mariah Dunbar each added 12 points.

The Nittany Lions (23-7) jumped out to a 21-13 lead in the first quarter. But UMA outscored PSULH 17-10 in the second quarter and 21-17 in the third, and managed to hold off a comeback attempt in the fourth quarter to keep the victory.

“We were playing man-to-man (defense) early on, we decided to switch to the 2-3 zone, just to try it,” UMA head coach Heath Cowan said. “That’s something we’re going to try next year. We stayed in the 2-3 zone for the last three quarters, contested some shots, kept them out of transition, it was pretty good.”

Kaeti Butterfield added 10 points for UMA.


Chanelle Lee led the Nittany Lions with 22 points, while Samantha Columna added 20.

UMA fell out of national title contention Tuesday, when it fell 76-62 to the University of Cincinnati-Clermont in the second round. UMA battled to a 94-84 victory over Central Penn in the first round Monday, a game that went to two overtimes. The Moose managed to beat the Knights with just five eligible players remaining, as three had fouled out entering the second overtime.

“With a goal to win a national championship and to lose (that chance), and to come back and find the energy to play a really good Penn State team, I’m very, very proud of them,” Cowan said. “I think what we’ve done over this year, over the last two years, we’ve got the program headed where we want it to be. I’m so incredibly proud of our kids.”

It’s the first time in program history the Moose have reached the national tournament in consecutive seasons. The Moose also tied the program record for wins in a season (23) and set a program record for wins in a two-year stretch (42).

Though seniors, Dunbar, Farrar and Butterfield all have a year of eligibility remaining (due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Cowan is hopeful to have all three players back next season, along with a promising crop of recruits, which include Lawrence High School standouts Elizabeth Crommett, Alicen Higgins and Brianna Poulin.

“You can’t say enough about the three (seniors),” Cowan said. “We’re trying to convince them to run it back. If I have anything to do with it, we’ll try to get them to come back and play one more year, but we’ll see.”

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