Bengals survive struggle with Beavers

Bengals survive struggle with Beavers

FARMINGTON -- The University of Maine at Fort Kent eked out a 49-48 victory over the University of Maine at Farmington in non-conference women's basketball action this afternoon at Dearborn Gymnasium at the Dunkin' Donuts Tip-Off Classic.

In the day's other game, the University of Southern Maine routed the University of Maine at Presque Isle 85-44.

UMF's Kelsey Graffam (Falmouth, Maine) along with USM's Courtney Cochran (Waite, Maine) and Nicole Garland (Portland, Maine), UMFK's Ericka Christensen (Warren, Maine) and UMPI's Rashell Saucier (Washburn, Maine) were named to the All-Classic Team

UMFK 49, UMF 48

Christensen notched a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds as the Bengals (1-3) pulled out their first victory of the season.

After falling behind by double digits early in the second half, the Beavers (1-2) rallied with an Emily Higgins (Saco, Maine) jumper knotting the game at 47-47 with 4:14 to play. Lindsay Ranquist (Owls Head, Maine) lifted UMF into the lead with a foul shot to make it 48-47 with 3:47 to go -- its first advantage since 2-0.

Taylor Boucher (Fort Kent, Maine) scored to put the Bengals back up 49-48 with 2:36 to play. UMF had a number of chances as UMFK missed both front ends of 1-and-1s down the stretch, but the Beavers misfired five times from the field and turned the ball over twice as the Bengals left Farmington with the win.

Boucher also scored 13 points for UMFK, while Maliesha Caesar (Cayon, St. Kitts) provided 10 points off the bench.

Emma Morrison (Saco, Maine) scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds for UMF, while Graffam yanked down a career-best 12 boards, including seven offensive.

The Bengals outscored the Beavers 17-5 over the first 10:13 of the game and grew their lead to 15 points before UMF whittled the advantage down to 30-24 at intermission.

USM 85, UMPI 44

Cochran recorded her second double-double of the season with 21 points and 10 rebounds – both game-high totals – as USM (2-1) rolled by the Owls (0-3).

Cochran was one of three USM players to hit double-figures in scoring.  The 6-1 forward was 8-for-15 from the floor and 5-for-6 from the free throw line in just 18 minutes of action.  Garland scored a season-high 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting including four 3-point field goals.  Abby Hasson (South Portland, Maine) added a career-high 10 points off of the bench on a 5-for-7 effort.

The Owls were led by 15 points from junior guard Emily Pelletier (Fort Kent, Maine) and 14 points and six rebounds from sophomore forward Rashell Saucier (Washburn, Maine).  Saucier was 7-for-10 from the field for the Owls and added a pair of steals. Senior guard Emily Moore (Lisbon, Maine) added nine points.

Holding a modest 13-7 lead over the Owls following a lay-up from Saucier with 15:07 on the clock, the Huskies use a crushing 18-0 run to open up a commanding 30-7 lead.  Cochran scored six of her game-high 21 points in the run that was capped by one of four of Garland's three-point field goals with 9:06 remaining in the half.

UMPI's Moore halted the scoring drought for the Owls with a lay-up on their next possession and then accounted for the Owls' next nine points as both teams traded baskets for the next three minutes. 

Leading 36-16, Southern Maine used another powerful run, outscoring UMPI 14-2, to close out the half and secure a 50-18 halftime lead.  Five different players scored in the run for the Huskies, led by four points from Hasson and four points from senior guard Renee Nicholas (Sebago, Maine/Lake Region).

The Huskies remained in control from the opening whistle in the second half, scoring 10 unanswered points, opening up a 60-18 lead with 16:23 to play.  With the game in control, the Huskies led by as many as 48 points late in the game and cruised for the win.

Kelsey Graffam Emma Morrison Lindsay Ranquist Emily Higgins Rachel Clement