Women's basketball falls behind early, loses to Husson

FARMINGTON -- Husson University strolled out to a 15-point first-half lead and held on to take a 72-62 victory over the University of Maine at Farmington in North Atlantic Conference women's basketball action this afternoon at Dearborn Gymnasium.

The Beavers (7-9 overall, 4-3 NAC) are scheduled to host Maine Maritime Academy Monday at 5:30 p.m., followed by the men's game. The Eagles (7-10, 5-1) are tabbed to take on Thomas College in Waterville Monday at 5:30 p.m.

Jillian Ross (Belfast, Maine) scored 17 points, including a 10-for-10 effort from the foul line, and grabbed eight rebounds for the Beavers, while Ashley Busque (Belgrade, Maine) and Kenni Norton (Strong, Maine) added 11 and 10 points, respectively. Holly Oliver (Belgrade Lakes, Maine) turned in eight points and 10 rebounds in defeat, while Paige Saunders (Surry, Maine) blocked five shots.

The Beavers shot 27.7 percent (18-65) from the field, including 27.3 (6-22) from 3-point range, compared the Eagles 36.1 (26-72). Farmington made 20 of 25 free attempts (80.0), while Husson hit 11 of 15 freebies (73.3)

Amanda Gifford (Lee, Maine) and Noelle Lincoln (Dixmont, Maine) each tallied 18 points for the Eagles with Bethany Sevey (Skowhegan, Maine) supplying 10 points and Kelli Murray (Fairfield, Maine) eight points and 11 rebounds. Murray and Gifford handed out six and five assists, respectively, while Gifford also headlined the defense with three steals.

Shooting 56.3 percent (9-16) from beyond the arc and forcing 17 Farmington miscues, Husson outscored the hosts 43-28 in the first half. Lincoln netted 11 points and Gifford chipped in 10 points in the frame.

Leading 10-8, Sevey, Lincoln and Caitlyn Butterfield (Gorham, Maine) each stroked a 3-pointer to power a 12-1 run for the Eagles for a 22-9 advantage with 11:54 left in the first half. Husson pushed the lead to 15 points on three occasions, carrying a 43-28 command into the half.

Baskets by Gifford and Lincoln to open the second half gave the visitors a 47-28 lead and the Eagles continued to build their lead with a 58-36 advantage with eight minutes to play.

Farmington limited its turnovers (six) in the second half and hit six 3-pointers over the final 7:35, which enabled the Beavers to put together a run to slim the final score to 72-62.