The University of Maine women’s basketball team bid recent rival Stony Brook a rude good-bye on Saturday afternoon.
The Black Bears built a 23-point lead in the first half and withstood a furious second half rally to snap Stony Brook’s 11-game winning streak, 61-55, at the Island Federal Credit Union Arena in New York.
It was Stony Brook’s first home loss of the season after 11 wins.
Stony Brook is now 20-3 overall and a league-leading 11-2 in the conference.
It was the Seawolves’ first loss since a 54-49 setback to the New Jersey Institute of Technology on Dec. 30.
UMaine avenged a 63-44 home loss on Jan. 9.
Since the Seawolves aren’t eligible for the America East tournament because the university is leaving the conference for the Colonial Athletic Association after this season, they won’t be playing UMaine any more unless the two schools schedule non-conference games against each other.
The two teams reached the America East tournament championship game the last two seasons. Stony Brook upset UMaine 64-60 a year ago at the Memorial Gym in Orono but the two teams never played the title game in 2019-20 because the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the season right before the contest.
UMaine extended its winning streak to seven games and UMaine is now 13-10 and 10-3 in conference play, respectively. UMaine is 7-0 on the road in conference play.
The Black Bears jumped out to a 15-4 lead and expanded it to 35-12 with 5:23 remaining in the first half.
The Seawolves came storming back in the second half and pulled within one on two occasions in the fourth quarter.
But the Black Bears held Stony Brook scoreless over the game’s final 2:17 and held on for the win.
Stony Brook missed its last four shots and turned the ball over once over the last 2:17.
Gigi Gonzalez’s fast-break layup sliced the lead to 57-55 with 2:17 left.
Maeve Carroll’s layup for Maine off an Alba Orois pass with 40 seconds left made it 59-55 and Orois and Anne Simon each added a free throw later to sew it up.
Carroll’s crucial basket was her only one of the game as she had been 0-for-5 from the floor up until that point.
Junior guard Simon, who became the program’s 23rd player to eclipse the 1,000-point mark for her career in Wednesday’s 64-55 win over Albany, led the way with a game-high 21 points thanks to 8-for-13 shooting from the floor including a 4-for-7 showing beyond the 3-point arc.
She has now scored at least 10 points in all but one game this season and in 16 straight.
She also finished with 10 rebounds for a double-double. The America East scoring and steals leader also had two steals.
Sophomore point guard Orois finished with 16 points, six assists and four rebounds. She also had an uncharacteristic eight turnovers, a season-high. It is her fourth straight game with 10 or more points and fifth in six games.
Caroline Bornemann contributed 12 points and eight rebounds for Maine, Olivia Rockwood scored nine points and Carroll finished with 11 rebounds, six assists and three blocked shots to go with three points.
Anastasia Warren’s 13 points, five rebounds and two assists paced Stony Brook. Earlette Scott added 12 points and Gonzalez wound up with 11 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Leighah-Amori Wool had seven points and Nairimar Vargas-Reyes grabbed eight rebounds to go with her four points. India Pagan was held to four points, eight below her average.
UMaine shot 49 percent from the floor and 31.8 percent from the free throw line compared to Stony Brook’s 35.2 percent and 26.7 percent.
UMaine outrebounded Stony Brook 39-25.
UMaine will host Hartford on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.