BANGOR, Maine — The University of Maine extended their Cross Insurance Center winning streak in America East play to 19 on Wednesday night as the Black Bears received double-doubles from sophomore guard Tanesha Sutton and freshman forward Laia Sole to beat the University of Vermont 59-43.
UMaine improved to 12-12 overall, 5-4 in America East, while Vermont fell to 6-15 and 3-6.
UMaine avenged a 55-52 loss in Burlington on Jan. 4.
Sole had 13 points and 10 rebounds and also dished out three assists while Sutton had 10 points, a career-high and game-high 13 rebounds and three steals.
Senior guard Sigi Koizar had 13 points and three assists, and she became the seventh player in UMaine program history with 1,500 points.
Seldom-used sophomore guard Maddy McVicar of Calais had a career-high six points on a traditional 3-pointer and a regular 3-pointer and both came at critical junctures to extend leads. Anita Kelava chipped in with six rebounds and two blocked shots.
“I’m happy with how they came out and played well together as a team,” said UMaine associate head coach Amy Vachon, who is filling in for head coach Richard Barron while he is on medical leave. “I was really happy with Laia and Tanesha. To both get double-doubles is great.”
“I was just thinking ‘Go for it’,” said Sutton who had six offensive rebounds among her 13. “When the ball goes up, I just try to pursue it. I know it gives us a second opportunity. Rebounding is very important.”
Sutton added that there was extra incentive.
“That was a tough loss (at Vermont). They weren’t getting this one. Everybody contributed in a way,” said Sutton.
Sole said they have been spending a lot of time with her “getting to the middle (of the paint)” and it paid off.
“Coach told me when I go to the middle, my shooting percentage is much higher,” said Sole.
Freshman Hanna Crymble had 15 points and six rebounds for Vermont. Candice Wright had nine points and eight rebounds. Kylie Butler added seven points and three steals.
The Black Bears hit four of their first five 3-pointers in the third quarter to reel off a 12-2 run that expanded the lead to 44-25. Koizar had two of the threes with Sutton and Blanca Millan netting the others.
UMaine went 6-for-10 from beyond the three-point arc in the period.
But the resilient Catamounts rattled off 10 straight points to pull within nine.
UMaine was holding a 47-38 lead with 1:35 remaining in the quarter when McVicar nailed a three off a Sole pass and Julie Brosseau added a basket off a Sole steal and pass.
The lead was never threatened as the two teams combined for just 11 points in the fourth quarter.
Vachon said me she liked the way her Black Bears came out in the third quarter and the way they responded to Vermont’s run.
She was also pleased with McVicar’s contribution.
McVicar, who had played just 21 minutes this season, supplied the Black Bears with a nine-point halftime lead when she closed out the half by stealing the ball and converting a conventional three-point play after sinking a contested layup.
“We talk a lot about how important practice is and how you have to earn your playing time,” said Vachon. “Maddy has earned it, especially the last two days. She really brought it to practice. We got into some foul trouble and she was ready when her number was called. She had a great steal and that was a tough finish. Then she hit a huge three. So I’m really happy for her. You never know when your number is going to be called, you have to be ready and she was.”