BIDDEFORD, Maine – Down by 23 points at the half after an ice-cold shooting adventure, the University of Southern Maine Huskies rallied to within a possession of the University of New England Nor'easters with 30 seconds to play, but ultimately fell short 71-65 in a non-conference women's basketball game Tuesday night at Harold Alfond Forum.
With the win, UNE improves to 2-0. Both teams played the same opponent on their opening nights, with each team defeating Regis (Mass.) College. Southern Maine evens out to 1-1 with the loss. UNE defeated Regis 68-53, while USM defeated the Pride 68-60.
Abby Cavallaro led all scorers with 24 points off of the bench for UNE. She was 5-for-7 from the field and an outstanding 11-for-27 from the free throw line, adding seven rebounds, three steals and two assists. Jocelyn Chaput added 16 points, while Sadie Nelson and Kaylee Beyor had 11 and 10 points each.
Sophomore Victoria Harris (Altus, Okla.) led USM with a double-double on 15 points, a career-high 10 rebounds and a career-high seven steals. Harris was 6-for-10 from the field, despite sitting out the second quarter due to early foul trouble. Junior Kristen Curley (Gorham, Maine) went 7-for-18 from the floor for 14 points adding two rebounds and two assists, while senior Jackie Luckhardt (Londonderry, N.H.) filled the stat sheet, again, with 11 points, seven rebounds, six steals and five assists. Sophomore Abi Ramirez (Portland, Maine), in her second game as a Husky had a season-best nine point, adding four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Junior Morgan Eliasen (Lewiston, Maine) had seven points, five rebounds and two blocked shots.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- After leading 7-2 early in the first quarter (7:28) on a layup from Harris, USM went ice cold from the field, scoring just three more points in the quarter as UNE rattled off a 17-3 run to close out the first and lead 19-10. Chaput had seven of her 16 for UNE in the first quarter.
- Shooting woes continued for USM in the second quarter, as UNE outscored the Huskies 27-13. Curley had six, while Eliasen had five in the second as USM connected on 6-of-17 from the field, and committed six turnovers.
- Nelson had nine of her 11 in the second to pace UNE, which shot a red-hot 11-for-18 in the quarter (61.1 percent), while Cavallaro had eight.
- The Huskies began to fight their way back into the game in the third outscoring UNE 20-13 in the frame. Ramirez had five of her nine in the quarter. The Huskies turned up the defensive pressure in the third, limiting UNE to 2-for-7 from the field and forcing the Nor'easters into 10 turnovers. Harris had three of her seven steals in the quarter for USM. However, despite the third quarter efforts from USM, the Huskies still trailed UNE 59-43 headed into the fourth quarter.
- In the fourth, Harris and Luckhardt each had eight points for the Huskies, while Harris added four more steals. USM also held UNE to 3-for-13 shooting in the quarter (23.1 percent).
- Down 20, 67-47, with 7:30 to play after a three from UNE's Chaput, the Huskies went on a 18-0 run over the next six minutes to pull to within a bucket, 67-65. Curley started the run with a jumper, and Luckhardt, Harris, Ramirez and Curley all contributed to the run led by eight points from Luckhardt.
- One of two free throws from Madalyn Sanborn made it a three-point game (68-65) in favor of UNE with less than 90 seconds to play, but USM misfired on its final three possessions and UNE got enough from the free throw line to hold on for the 71-65 final.
INSIDE THE HUSKIES' STATS:
- Harris established career-highs in steals (7) and rebounds (10). Her previous steal total was three, set three times. Her 15 points and 10 rebounds marks the first double-double of her career.
- Through two games, Luckhardt is averaging 13.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 6.0 steals per game with a 4.0 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Southern Maine heads to the University of Maine at Farmington this weekend for the UMF Invitational. The Huskies will face Thomas College on Friday (5:30 pm) and UMaine Farmington on Saturday (3:00 pm).