BANGOR, Maine — The University of Maine women’s basketball team’s 20-game home winning streak in America East play was in serious jeopardy when Stony Brook took a 60-56 lead with 2:56 remaining on a three-pointer by Davion Wingate.
But senior all-conference guard Sigi Koizar scored 14 fourth-quarter points to help send the game into overtime and sophomore guard Tanesha Sutton had five points in the extra session to lead the Black Bears to a thrilling 78-71 victory in the Play4Kay game.
A lively crowd of 2,306 saw UMaine triumph in their pink jerseys which call attention to cancer and raise money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
UMaine is now 15-13 overall and 8-5 in America East while Stony Brook, a 55-41 winner over UMaine on Jan. 14, fell to 10-15 and 3-9.
Christa Scognamiglio’s runner with 8.8 seconds left in regulation forced OT for Stony Brook as both teams erased four-point deficits in the final period.
Sutton opened the scoring in overtime with a pair of free throws after Kori Bayne-Walker fouled out.
Bayne-Walker tied her career-high with 25 points, the vast majority coming off drives to the basket that produced baskets or foul shots.
“That was definitely crucial for us. Kori was a big part of our comeback,” said Stony Brook coach Caroline McCombs.
After two Stony Brook misses, Koizar sank a pair of foul shots to expand the lead to four.
Aaliyah Worley made one of two free throws to cut it to three but Sutton nailed a pivotal 3-pointer off a Koizar handoff with 2:12 left to make it 74-68.
“I didn’t think about that one. I just shot it,” grinned Sutton.
“She has worked real hard on her 3-point shot. She has our best three-point shooting percentage,” said UMaine associate head coach Amy Vachon, who is filling in while head coach Richard Barron remains on medical leave.
Sheraton Jones rebounded a Stony Brook miss and Laia Sole converted off a nice inside move to sew up the win with 1:22 remaining.
Koizar finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds, the fourth double-double of her career. Sutton tied a career-high with 16 points and she also had five rebounds and four assists. Julie Brosseau contributed 11 points and Sole had 10 to go with five rebounds. Fanny Wadling had eight points and Jones had five points and six rebounds.
Naira Caceres chipped in with five points and five rebounds and Anita Kelava blocked three shots and had two steals.
Koizar acknowledged that she felt she had to step it up for her freshman-laden team in the fourth quarter.
“I had to at least be aggressive or find someone who was open,” said Koizar, who generated most of her points by penetrating the lane. “We kept running the same play and that gave me an open lane or the option of getting the ball to a shooter in the corner.”
“She’s a real good player. She played like a senior. She put her team on her back,” McCombs said.
Bayne-Walker had three assists and three steals to go with her 25 points and Wingate had 19 points and five rebounds. Scognamiglio had nine points and three steals and Gio Perez scored eight points. Worley grabbed a team-high nine rebounds to go with six points. Elizabeth Manner had four points and seven rebounds for Stony Brook.
“This was one of our best games of the season. They just happened to finish more plays than us,” said Bayne-Walker.
Vachon called it a “gutsy win” and said she was “very proud” of how her team responded to the frustrations of the game.
UMaine led by as much as 12 in the first half but the determined Seawolves rattled off 10 straight points in the second quarter to trail by six at the half.
Stony Brook used a 14-7 run in the third quarter to take a 36-35 lead and the game seesawed the rest of the way.