Women's basketball comes up short in NAC semis

BANGOR -- Fourth-seeded University of Maine at Farmington was eliminated from the North Atlantic Conference Women's Basketball Tournament with a 66-62 semifinal loss to top-ranked Husson University tonight at Dearborn Gymnasium.

The Beavers completed their season at 12-14. The Eagles (15-11) advanced to the NAC title game to face the winner of No. 2 Castleton State College and No. 3 Maine Maine Maritime Academy.

Ashley Busque (Belgrade, Maine) tallied a game-high 22 points to lead the Beavers, including five 3-pointers, while Kenni Norton (Strong, Maine) added 13 points and Jillian Ross (Belfast, Maine) supplied eight points and 11 rebounds. Farmington outrebounded Husson 48-34 with Paige Saunders (Surry, Maine) also grabbing double-digit boards with 10 and Busque taking down nine boards. Norton was named to the NAC All-Tournament Team.

Amanda Gifford (Lee, Maine) scored 14 points and handed out eight assists for Husson, while Kelli Murray (Shawmut, Maine) pitched in with 12 points.

After a 12-2 run helped the Eagles to a 39-32 lead, Husson carried the advantage for most of the second half until the Beavers used a 7-0 stretch, capped by a Busque three, to tie the game at 57-57 with 5:30 to play. The game was tied at 60 when a Stephanie Comstock (Bangor, Maine) free throw and a basket by Caitlyn Butterfield (Gorham, Maine) helped Husson to a 63-60 edge with 1:41 remaining. Norton scored to get the Beavers to 63-62 with 1:18 remaining, but a pair of missed 3-pointers and a turnover doomed Farmington's upset bid with the Eagles doing just enough (three for five) from the foul line to seal the 66-62 win.

With three ties and a see-sawed lead, the game was tight over the first 13 minutes of the contest. Saunders scored to make it 24-22 in favor of the Eagles with 6:41 left in the frame, but Husson outscored the Beavers 12-2 with a Butterfield jumper giving Husson a 36-24 advantage with 2:18 until intermission. Husson led 39-32 at intermission.