MAINE vs. UMASS LOWELL
Time, site: Wednesday, 7 p.m., Tsongas Center, Lowell, Massachusetts
Records: Maine 17-6 (9-1 America East) UMass Lowell 10-13 (4-7 AE)
Series, last meeting: Maine leads 3-0, Maine 68-54 on 1/14/15
Key players: Maine — 5-8 G Sigi Koizar (14.7 points per game, 4.0 rebounds per game, 2.7 assists per game, 1.7 steals per game), 5-10 F Liz Wood (13.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 3.5 apg, 2.8 spg), 6-4 F Anna Heise (7.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, .545 FG pct.), 5-8 G Sophie Weckstrom (8.1 ppg), 6-2 F Mikaela Gustafsson (4.0 ppg), 5-10 G/F Chantel Charles (3.5 ppg, 1.9 apg); UML — 5-5 G Shannon Samuels (14.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.5 spg), 5-9 G Jasmine McRoy (12.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg), 6-2 F Lindsey Doucette (9.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.7 spg), 5-9 G Brianna Rudolph (7.0 ppg), 5-7 Melissa Frase (5.1 ppg, 2.2 spg)
Game notes: The Black Bears look to extend their winning streak to 10 games in facing the River Hawks. UMaine hasn’t lost since Jan 7. at Yale and continues to use stingy defense and balanced offense to make a run toward the top of the league standings. The second-place Bears handled Hartford 63-45 on Sunday and are a half-game behind Albany. UMass Lowell had won three straight before a 93-57 reality check at Albany last Thursday. The River Hawks are 8-5 at home this season. UMaine ranks 11th in Division I scoring defense (53.5 ppg) and has allowed fewer than 60 points in 12 consecutive games and in 18 contests this season, which is a program record. The Bears also are 4-0 in AE road games. UMaine needs to take advantage of its ability to convert turnovers as UML has committed 18.1 per game in conference games. The Bears also must rebound aggressively to limit the River Hawks’ second-chance opportunities. UMaine also should benefit from getting the ball into the paint consistently, which will also open up 3-point shooters on kick-out passes.