Maine's Maeve Carroll, right, drives against Albany's Ellen Hahne during the first half half of an NCAA college basketball game in the championship of the the America East Conference tournament, Friday, March 11, 2022, at Orono, Maine. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

ORONO, Maine — Head coach Amy Vachon and her University of Maine women’s basketball team haven’t watched the videotape of last Friday’s 56-47 loss to Albany in the America East championship game at a sold-out Memorial Gym in Orono.

“There is nothing I can take from that game,” Vachon said.

UMaine entered the game with a 14-game winning streak but shot just 34 percent from the floor, 23.1 percent beyond the 3-point arch and was outrebounded 34-27. The Black Bears never led.

But now the 20-11 Black Bears have a second chance to prove themselves and take the sting out of that loss as their America East regular season championship earned them an automatic bid to the WNIT and a berth in Thursday’s 7 p.m. first-round game game at Boston College, which was 19-11 overall and 10-8 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“It was tough. It was upsetting not to win the championship,” said UMaine graduate student forward Maeve Carroll. “But this is a new opportunity for us to finish the season the way we know we can.”

Vachon gave her team the weekend off to deal with the loss, saying everybody needed a few days to process it. But the team talked Monday and she said they are ready.

The last time UMaine played in the WNIT, in the 2015-16 season, the Black Bears were thrashed 90-44 in the first round by Quinnipiac of Connecticut. UMaine, which had lost to Albany 59-58 in the conference title game seven days earlier, trailed 45-15 at the half.

Vachon, an assistant coach then, said the team was not ready for that game while mourning the Albany loss. But they had eight seniors then. It is a different situation now for her team.

“This team is very young and it is important for them to get experience in this tournament,” said Vachon. “If you look over the past couple of years, a lot of WNIT teams took the next step the following year and played in the NCAA Tournament and did some great things.

“We need to use that [as motivation] moving forward,” Vachon said.

UMaine has 10 freshmen and sophomores on its 14-player roster and Carroll is the only senior or graduate student. The game could have special meaning for Carroll. The 5-foot-11 Virginia native is just eight points from becoming the program’s 24th player to score 1,000 points after Simon became the 23rd this season.

“It is a motivation for me,” admitted Carroll. “I’m really excited. I hope I can get it. But it’s more important that we as a team have a good team game and come together.”

Sophomore guard Alba Orois said she and her teammates are aware that Carroll needs eight points to reach 1,000.

“Being on the court with Maeve is just amazing. I love it and I am so excited to see her closing in on 1,000 points,” Orois said. “I am going to help her do it.”