University of Maine women's basketball junior guard Anne Simon looks for an open teammate in a November 2021 game against Providence College. Credit: Seth Poplaski / UMaine Athletics

Coming off one of its best games of the season in a victory over Vermont on Sunday, the University of Maine women’s basketball team will have a rare 11 a.m. contest against the University of Massachusetts Lowell on Wednesday.

The game, which will be played at the Costello Athletic Center in Lowell, Massachusetts, is a chance for UMaine to avenge a 60-55 loss against the River Hawks at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Jan. 19. It was UMass Lowell’s first road win over UMaine in 11 tries.

UMaine is now 5-3 in the conference and 8-10 overall, while the River Hawks are 3-2 and 6-8.

UMaine head coach Amy Vachon said the early start won’t hinder her team, and she downplayed the potential momentum gained from the Vermont victory.

“What we did the other day means nothing. We’re just focusing on Lowell. They beat us last time so we need to play better if we want to come out on top,” Vachon said.

“We have a young team so you never know. We’re just taking it one day at a time.”

UMaine had been looking for a fifth starter to complement Anne Simon, Maeve Carroll, Alba Orois and Caroline Bornemann. Spanish freshman guard Paula Gallego has started the last six games and has played well, according to Vachon.

Gallego is averaging 3 points and 2.6 rebounds over 17 minutes of playing time in that six-game stretch.

“She is a real smart player. Her basketball IQ is really high. She has done real well for us,” Vachon said.

Vachon called UMass Lowell a “good team.”

“They’re well-balanced. They like to run in transition. We’re going to have to execute on defense, which we didn’t do last time, rebound and take what the defense gives us. We need to read their defense better than we did.”

UMaine continues to be led by junior guard Simon, the conference’s second leading scorer (16.6 points per game) and leader in steals per game (3.17). She is ninth in the country in steals.

She is also averaging 4.9 rebounds per game.

Graduate student forward Maeve Carroll is the league’s No. 2 rebounder (7.9 rpg) to go with 9.9 points and 3 assists and sophomore point guard Alba Orois is atop the league in assists (5.6 per game) while also averaging 9.1 ppg. She is tied for 25th in the country in assists.

UMass Lowell, under first-year coach Denise King, features junior forward Denise Solis (9.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg), senior guard Kharis Idom (8.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.1 apg) and freshman guard Ivory Finley (7.5 ppg, 4 rpg). Solis and Finley combined for 25 points in the victory over UMaine.