The shooting woes that have plagued the University of Maine women’s basketball team this season doomed the Black Bears again on Tuesday night.
The 11th-ranked University of Miami Hurricanes established a double-digit lead in the second quarter and never looked back en route to a 76-51 win over the Black Bears in the championship game of the Miami Tournament in Coral Gables, Florida.
Coach Richard Barron’s Black Bears enter the Christmas holiday with a 7-6 record while the Hurricanes of the Atlantic Coast Conference improve to 11-1 with their 11th consecutive victory.
Miami never trailed after Keyona Hayes hit a layup just over a minute into the first quarter, embarking on a 10-0 run after UMaine’s Tanesha Sutton opened the scoring with a 3-pointer.
The Black Bears were able to stay in relative striking distance in the opening period, trailing by just five at one point, but the Hurricanes were able to stretch that out to 13 by halftime.
The Bears were never able to get back within double digits the rest of the way.
UMaine shot a dismal 34.7 percent from the floor (17 of 49) and just 4 of 22 (18.2 percent) from 3-point range.
“We’ve got to shoot the ball better, we’ve got to make the open shots,” Barron told Learfield’s Don Shields. “A lot of it’s just attitude and belief and we’re just not quite there yet.”
Three Hurricanes scored in double figures, led by Adrienne Motley’s 21 points, while Jessica Thomas had 12 and Erykah Davenport 11.
Sutton’s 13 points led the Black Bears while Julie Brousseau had 10.
Senior guard Sigi Koizar, UMaine’s leading scorer at 14.5 points per game, struggled to the tune of a 2-for-13 shooting performance from the floor, and the Bears also turned the ball over 15 times. The Hurricanes score 21 points off UMaine turnovers.
Koizar was also just 1-for-10 from 3-point land.
“I’m sure our kids are going to look back with some regret at the way we played,” Barron said.
The Black Bears are back in action on Dec. 28 when they travel to New Orleans to take on Tulane.