University of Maine junior forward Fanny Wadling (left) and freshman guard Doga Alper. Credit: Courtesy of UMaine Athletics

The status of University of Maine junior forward Fanny Wadling, who has been sidelined with a concussion since Nov. 15, is still up in the air, but freshman guard Doga Alper will be in uniform when the Black Bears conclude their non-conference schedule at the Fordham Holiday Classic this weekend.

The Black Bears (7-4) take on host Fordham (7-5) at 1 p.m. Saturday in The Bronx, New York, and play either Middle Tennessee State (8-3) or Chattanooga (4-9) on Sunday.

UMaine head coach Amy Vachon said they are taking it one day at a time with the 6-foot-2 Wadling, the Black Bears’ leading rebounder, and doesn’t know when she will be available.

Alper, who played on the Turkish national team, made her UMaine debut in last Saturday’s 63-55 loss at Northeastern University but was only on the court for a handful of seconds.

The 5-11 Alper played in 35 official games for the Turkish national team and was the leading scorer for Fenerbahce’s Under-16 team in 2016, averaging 14.3 points per game.

She was the regional basketball league Most Valuable Player in 2016-2017 and helped her team earn a fourth-place finish at the European Championships Division B last season.

“She is a really athletic player. She’s talented. She can help us,” Vachon said.

Vachon was quick to point out that Alper is still making the transition to Division I basketball and the Black Bears’ system. She has been with the team all season but didn’t become eligible until the second semester.

UMaine is coming off back-to-back losses to ninth-ranked North Carolina State (12-0) and Northeastern (10-1).

UMaine has played only three home games this season and Vachon said the demanding road schedule probably caught up to them at Northeastern.

“Northeastern was diving after loose balls and we weren’t. We have to play tougher and get back to playing the way we can,” Vachon said.

She also said to be 7-4 — with noteworthy wins over North Carolina, the University of Pennsylvania, North Carolina A&T, Toledo and Harvard — has been gratifying.

“If you had told me before the season we’d be 7-4 at this stage with a schedule that included 10 of the first 13 games on the road, I probably would have taken it,” Vachon said. “I really like our team and their commitment.”

She said the schedule has taken its toll more mentally than physically.

UMaine has twice been to North Carolina and has visited Wisconsin Green Bay, Bryant (Rhode Island), Annapolis, Maryland, Harvard and Northeastern.

UMaine goes into the tournament ranked 38th in the Rating Percentage Index among 351 Division I teams thanks to its strength of schedule and the quality wins.

The next closest America East team to UMaine in the RPI is Stony Brook at 108.

UMaine had some time off for Christmas before returning to practice on Wednesday.

“They needed time off. It’s a long season. We’ve been playing since October,” said Vachon, who added that their practices revealed a team that is refreshed.

Vachon said the injury to Wadling has enabled her to develop depth with productive minutes off the bench from players such as Maeve Carroll, Kira Barra, Kelly Fogarty and Maddy McVicar.

Defending America East champion UMaine begins conference play when it hosts archrival New Hampshire at 7 p.m. next Wednesday.