The University of Maine women’s basketball opened its America East campaign in dramatic fashion on Thursday night.
The Black Bears outscored Vermont 15-1 over the game’s final 7:14 to erase an eight-point deficit and post a 64-58 win at Patrick Gymnasium in Burlington, Vermont.
UMaine improved to 4-7 overall while Vermont fell to 6-6.
It was the league opener for both teams and UMaine extended its winning streak over the Catamounts to nine games.
Danish sophomore forward Caroline Bornemann scored a career-high 16 points including a game-tying 3-pointer with 5:26 remaining and a game-clinching three with 23 seconds left that expanded the lead to six.
The Catamounts missed their last 10 field goal attempts and also turned the ball over twice over the final 7:14.
The 5-foot-10 Bornemann — who had 15 points in UMaine’s last game, a 65-53 win over Dartmouth College on Dec. 19 — shot 5 for 7 from the floor and 3 for 5 behind the 3-point arc. She also grabbed three rebounds, including a clutch defensive board off an Emma Utterback miss in the final minute.
Junior guard Anne Simon scored 12 points including nine in the second half, and she also corralled six rebounds. Her jump shot with 3:28 left gave the Black Bears the lead for good at 59-57.
Graduate student forward Maeve Carroll had 11 points, six rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots despite playing only 24 minutes due to foul trouble.
Sophomore point guard Alba Orois, who leads the league in assists, finished with nine points, seven assists and two steals. Freshman guard Paula Gallego had a career-high seven points and junior forward Abbe Laurence netted six points and four rebounds.
Orois played the entire 40 minutes and only turned the ball over once.
Vermont’s Anna Olson, a sophomore forward, led all scorers with 19 points to go with seven rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots. Junior guard Utterback notched 14 points, five rebounds and four assists and graduate student guard Josie Larkins produced 13 points, four rebounds and two assists.
Junior Delaney Richason had eight points and four rebounds and freshman Catherine Gilwee had seven rebounds, five assists and three steals along with two points.
“This was a great win for our team,” said UMaine head coach Amy Vachon to Learfield/Black Bear Sports Properties/The Ticket play-by-play man Don Shields. “I’m really proud of them. They got some big stops and made some big shots.”
Vachon called a timeout after Olson’s layup with 7:14 left gave the Catamounts a 57-49 lead.
Then her Black Bears went to work.
“For the next five minutes after the timeout, I just looked on. It was fun to watch,” Vachon said.
Carroll’s layup off an Orois pass and 3-pointers by Simon with 6:09 left and Bornemann at the 5:26 mark off a Carroll pass tied it up.
After Simon supplied UMaine with its first lead since late in the first period, Carroll came up with a steal and Orois converted a layup with 3:00 remaining.
Olson’s free throw made it 61-58 with 1:38 remaining but the Catamounts never scored again and Bornemann hit her three to sew up the win.
UMaine shot 45.5 percent from the floor (25 for 55) and 33.3 percent from long distance (7 for 21) while UVM was 44.6 percent (25 for 56) and 23.1 percent (3 for 13), respectively.
UVM outrebounded UMaine 35-28.
UMaine will host the New Jersey Institute of Technology on Sunday at 1 p.m. the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
NJIT upset preseason favorite and defending America East tournament champion Stony Brook 54-49 on Thursday. NJIT is 6-6 overall.
Vermont travels to play New Hampshire on Wednesday at 6 p.m. after Sunday’s game at Albany was postponed due to COVID-19 protocols at Albany.