Maine Ends Drought, Advances To Quarterfinal vs. Boston U.
West Hartford, Conn.-- Eighth-seeded University of Maine picked up the program's first tournament win since 2006 with a 49-43 victory over ninth-seeded Stony Brook in Thursday night's first round game of the 2012 America East Men's and Women's Basketball Championship presented by Newman's Own. Third-team all-conference senior forward Samantha Baranowski netted a game-high 16 points to lead the Black Bears.
Maine will now face top-seeded Boston U. in the first of four quarterfinal games on Friday. The Black Bears and Terriers will tip-off at 12:05 p.m. at University of Hartford's Chase Family Arena.
"I'm very happy for Maine fans to see us get out of the play-in game for the first time since 2006. Tough game. Stony Brook is very feisty and well coached. We got very fortunate down the stretch. Very happy for our team," commented Maine head coach Richard Barron, who made his first America East Championship appearance Thursday night.
Thursday's win was the second win in six days for Maine over Stony Brook, and third overall this season, having defeated the Seawolves in the regular season finale on Feb. 25 and earlier on Jan. 21.
The Black Bears jumped out to an early 7-2 at the first media timeout, including four points from Baranowski. Stony Brook pushed back though, coming within 16-14 after junior Dani Klupenger, the Fans' Choice Player of the Year, drained a three. Maine held on to take a 22-18 lead into the intermission.
The Seawolves opened the second stanza on a 14-4 run to take a 32-26 advantage. Senior Whitney Davis scored six of her team-high 14 points over the first 3:30 of the second half to pace the Seawolves' rally.
With a 12-4 run of their own, Maine retook the lead 37-34 at 7:41. Five more lead changes ensued until two free throws by Brittany Williams with 3:06 remaining resulted in the game's fifth tie of the night at 43-43. Baranowski hit a layup to put the Black Bears on top for good with just over a minute left. Four free throws sealed the deal for Maine while also holding Stony Brook scoreless over the final 3:52 of the game.
All-Rookie selection Danielle Walczak also finished in double-figure points for the Black Bears with 10, along with eight boards. Maine shot 37.8 percent from the field for the games, and held the Seawolves to 29.5 percent field-goal shooting. The Black Bears outscored the Seawolves in the paint 24-10.
The Seawolves only turned the ball over three times, the fewest in a game all-time in tournament history.
Friday's action features four women's quarterfinal games. All four games will be streamed live in HD and for free by America East All-Access on www.AmericaEast.com. Visit Championship Central for all the live coverage links throughout the tournament.