UMaine women's basketball opens season with big win

UMaine women's bball opens season with win

BANGOR, Maine -- The University of Maine women's basketball team started the 2016-17 season with a bang, avenging last season's 23-point loss at Purdue with a 67-47 victory over the Boilermakers in the opening round of Tipoff Tournament at the Cross Insurance Center.

The Black Bears featured four scorers in double-figures, led by Sigi Koizar and Blanca Millan who each tallied 17. Koizar was named the player of the game after adding seven rebounds and four assists in 38 minutes of action. The senior guard moved into 10th all-time on Maine's scoring list, surpassing Ashleigh Roberts' total of 1,248. Tanesha Sutton added 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds in her Black Bear debut while freshman Laia Sole dumped in 14, 10 of which coming in the second half.

The victory, Maine's first over a Big Ten team since a 2004 win over Michigan, saw the Black Bears outscore Purdue 35-23 in the paint while hitting 25-of-52 from the floor (48.1-percent), including a 7-for-14 showing from 3-point range. Dating back to last season, it was the 32nd time in Maine's last 36 games in which it held an opponent under 60 points and the 18th time in which the opposition failed to reach 50.

A year ago, the Black Bears tallied 33 total points at Purdue. Maine surpassed that total in the first half of Friday's contest, taking a 36-18 lead on the Boilermakers into the break.

The home court vibes were apparent from the start as Maine came out fired up, racing out to a 17-1 start, holding Purdue to just a point over the opening 6:40. Six-straight points by Koizar keyed the run, giving Maine a double-figure lead just over five minutes into the quarter.

Leading by 14 in the first, Maine continued to push. A layup by Sole was followed by a triple from Julie Brosseau to give Maine a 19-point cushion.

Maine outscored Purdue 14-0 off turnovers and 19-2 in the paint in the first quarter alone.

The lead continued to swell early in the second quarter a back-to-back 3-pointers from Millan lifted Maine to a 24 points lead, 31-7, with six minutes left in the half.

Maine continued to cruise, carrying a 36-18 lead into the break.

The Black Bears were lights out from the floor in the first half, going 14-for-26 from the field and 4-for-5 from 3-point range.

Purdue chipped away to start the second half, staging a 6-2 run to cut the lead to 14.

Maine answered with an 11-0 run, capped on back-to-back triples by Sutton and Millan, to take its largest lead of the game, 49-24, with just under five minutes to play in the third.

The Boilermakers continued to charge, coming within 12 with eight minutes to play in the game. However it would be as close as they would get as Maine finished strong with a 12-4 run to take the season opener, 67-47.

Maine will take on the winner of Villanova and Mississippi St. on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Tipoff Tournament championship.

Copyright 2016 WCSH


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