The University of Maine women's basketball team competes against Providence College in November 2021. Credit: Seth Poplaski / UMaine Athletics

The University of Maine women’s basketball used to handle everyone at home.

The team had a 34-3 record at home in America East regular season play the previous five years, including a 28-3 mark at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

Things aren’t going as well for the defending America East regular season champs this season.

Entering Sunday’s 1 p.m. game against Vermont, UMaine is 1-3 in league games at the Cross Insurance Center this season and 3-0 on the road. UMaine is 2-7 overall at home, including a game apiece in Orono and Augusta.

One glaring statistic in league play is the disparity in shooting percentage.

UMaine shot 33.9 percent from the floor and 22 percent from beyond the 3-point arc in its three home losses, and 40.4 percent from the floor and 32.4 percent from long distance in its three league road wins.

One explanation could be that its three home losses are to contenders Stony Brook (7-1 in the conference), the New Jersey Institute of Technology (5-2) and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell (3-2), while the three road wins have come against one contender in Vermont (5-3) and two teams in the bottom half of the standings in New Hampshire (1-6) and Hartford (2-5).

UMaine head coach Amy Vachon said she “doesn’t have an answer” to her team’s home woes.

“If you can figure it out, let me know,” she said.

UMaine, 7-10 overall and 4-3 in the conference, will be facing a good and experienced Vermont team it rallied past in Burlington, Vermont, 64-58 on Dec. 30 behind an 18-8 fourth-quarter.

“They’re a really good team. They like to run in transition, they have a real good post player and they have five kids who can all score. They shoot the three really well and get offensive rebounds,” Vachon said.

Vermont had a four-game winning streak snapped by Stony Brook on Wednesday, 71-63, while UMaine earned a hard-fought 53-45 win at New Hampshire.

Vachon feels her youthful team is continuing to progress and is looking for consistency.

“When we have executed at both ends of the court, we have done well,” she said.

UMaine continues to be led by guard Anne Simon (16.7 points per game, 4.9 rebounds, 3 steals, 2.1 assists), forward Maeve Carroll (10 ppg, 8 rpg, 2.9 apg), point guard Alba Orois (9 ppg, 5.5 apg, 2.9 rpg) and forward Caroline Bornemann (5.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg).

Simon leads the conference in scoring and steals, Orois is the assist leader and Carroll is second in rebounding.

The University of Vermont features four players in double figures scoring-wise in guards Josie Larkins (12.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.2 apg) and Emma Utterback (12.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.8 apg), forward Anna Olson (11.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and guard forward Delaney Richason (10.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg).