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

BANGOR, Maine — A little over a month ago, the University of Maine women’s basketball team was 3-3 in America East and mired in sixth place.

It is now the outright America East regular season champion.

After a sluggish start, the Black Bears outscored the University of Maryland Baltimore County 47-22 in the second and third quarters and cruised to their 12th straight victory, 71-47, at the Cross Insurance Center on Sunday afternoon.

UMaine had beaten UMBC 70-59 on Saturday at the Memorial Gym in Orono.

UMaine’s sweep coupled with Albany’s 57-56 win over Stony Brook on Saturday gives the Blak Bears a 15-3 conference record, one game better than Stony Brook and Albany, which finished at 14-4 in conference play.

UMaine is now 18-10 overall. UMBC is 3-22 and 2-13, respectively.

Stony Brook can’t participate in the tournament because a league bylaw forbids a departing team from participating in league championships. Stony Brook is joining the Colonial Athletic Association next season.

Maine junior guard Anne Simon missed her first seven shots, including three layups, but made nine of her final 11 and finished with a game-high 24 points to go with four rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Caroline Bornemann added 14 points and four rebounds and Alba Orois netted 11 points, nine assists, four rebounds and two steals. Olivia Rockwood had a pair of 3-pointers and graduate student Maeve Carroll, who was honored before the game for it being her last regular season game, had four points and 10 rebounds.

Onome-Juliet Esadah’s 14 points and nine rebounds paced the Retrievers. Keelah Dixon added 13 points.

The Black Bears shot a dismal 17.6 percent in the first quarter and trailed 11-7.

But they heated up in the second quarter and used a 10-0 run to begin the period and transform the four-point deficit into a 17-11 lead.

Simon fed Carroll for a top-of-the-key jumper, Orois passed to Simon for a fast break layup and it turned into a three-point play when she was fouled. Orois dished to Bornemann for a three and Orois finished off the run with a driving left-handed layup.

UMaine took a 30-20 lead into the intermission thanks to a 5-2 spurt to close out the half.

Orois had three free throws and Simon converted a layup.

Bornemann had 11 first-half points and Orois had nine.

Dixon had seven points for UMBC over the first 20 minutes and Summers had six.