Time, site: Saturday, noon, SEFCU Arena, Albany, New York
Records: Maine 12-6 (3-0 America East), Albany 12-3 (3-0)
Series, last meeting: Maine leads 17-14, Maine 52-44 on 2/1/15
Key players: Maine — 5-8 G Sigi Koizar (16.7 points per game, 4.0 rebounds per game, 4.1 assists per game, .412 3-pt. FG pct.), 6-2 F Mikaela Gustafsson (9.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg), 5-10 G/F Liz Wood (8.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.8 apg, 2.5 steals per game), 5-11 F Bella Swan (7.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg, .530 FG pct.), 5-8 G Sophie Weckstrom (7.5 ppg), 5-10 G Chantel Charles (4.7 ppg); Albany — 6-1 F Shereesha Richards (24.0 ppg, 8.9 rpg, .567 FG pct.), 5-8 G Imani Tate (18.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.7 spg), 5-9 G Zakiya Saunders (10.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 7.3 apg), 6-2 F Tiana-Jo Carter (7.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg), 5-6 G Erin Coughlin (5.3 ppg, 2.1 apg)
Game notes: The Black Bears and the Great Danes clash for the first of what UMaine coach Richard Barron hopes will be three meetings this season. UMaine, which beat Albany on its home court last year, handled UMass Lowell 74-44 on Tuesday. The Great Danes, who beat New Hampshire 78-52, have won four straight since a one-point loss at USC. UMaine leads the league in scoring defense (51.7 ppg) and four-time defending champion Albany tops AE in scoring (69.1 ppg). The challenge for the Bears will be containing two-time defending player of the year Richards and her strong inside game while maintaining ball pressure on the perimeter. Foul trouble could be an issue in the frontcourt. Albany also is adept at scoring in transition, so UMaine’s ability to shoot well and get back quickly also will be key. The Bears also need to avoid the kind of offensive lapses that they have experienced in the last two games.