Sophomore guard Sera Hodgson poured in a career-high 22 points to lead the University of Maine to a 73-57 victory over Niagara University Saturday afternoon in the Saint Mary’s Thanksgiving Classic Tournament in Moraga, California.
Hodgson, who shot 6-for-9 from the floor including 5-for-8 behind the 3-point arc, led five Black Bears in double figures as UMaine improved to 3-3 while dealing 1-5 Niagara of Lewiston, New York, its fifth-straight loss.
The Black Bears sealed the win with a 10-0 run late in the fourth quarter that turned a six-point lead into a 71-55 advantage.
Olivia Rockwood’s layup off a Paula Gallego pass following an Adrianna Smith steal made it 63-55 with 3:08 remaining in the game.
Gallego then grabbed a rebound and fed Caroline Bornemann for a three-pointer before Rockwood nailed a three off a Bornemann pass.
Bornemann’s layup off a Gallego feed capped the flurry.
Junior guard Rockwood finished with 14 points, two rebounds and two assists. She was 4-for-8 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Junior guard-forward Bornemann contributed 12 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals and a blocked shot; sophomore forward Smith produced 11 points, a game-high 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals; and sophomore guard Gallego had 10 points, a game-high six assists, three rebounds and two blocked shots.
Senior forward Abbe Laurence posted a game-high five blocked shots to go with two points and two rebounds in just 12 minutes.
Sophomore guard Aaliyah Parker paced Niagara with a game-high 24 points. She also had three steals and two rebounds. Maddy Yelle had eight points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals, and Nickelle O’Neil finished with eight points, five rebounds and a game-high four steals.
UMaine shot 53.3 percent from the floor (24-for-45) and 44.4 percent behind the 3-point arc (12-for-27) compared with Niagara’s 33.3 percent (21-for-63) and 11.8 percent (2-for-17), respectively.
UMaine outrebounded the Purple Eagles 39-28.
UMaine was again without reigning America East Player of the Year and Defender of the Year Anne Simon (ankle injury).
The UMaine women will head to Spokane, Washington, to take on 5-1 Gonzaga at 9 p.m. Monday. Gonzaga recently went 2-1 in a tournament in the Bahamas, with wins over nationally ranked Louisville (79-67 in overtime) and Tennessee (73-72).