Anne Simon of the University of Maine (center) dribbles up the court past two University of New Hampshire players during a game last season in Orono. Credit: Courtesy of UMaine Athletics

The good news for the University of Maine women’s basketball team is that reigning America East Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Anne Simon returned to the lineup against Harvard on Sunday afternoon after missing eight games with a high ankle sprain.

The bad news is the Black Bears returned to their old ways, turning the ball over 21 times that led to easy transition points, and the Crimson cruised to an easy 84-56 victory at Lavietes Pavilion in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Harvard outscored UMaine 25-6 in points off turnovers and also had a 52-26 edge in points in the paint.

Harvard improved to 6-5 and UMaine fell to 4-8 after losing for the fifth time in six games.

The Crimson, picked to finish fourth in the Ivy League this season, was led by 6-foot senior guard forward McKenzie Forbes and 5-10 sophomore guard Harmoni Turner, who were both All-Ivy League second team selections a year ago.

Forbes poured in 23 points and handed out seven assists, both game highs. She also had three rebounds and three steals.

Turner, the league’s reigning Rookie of the Year, scored 18 points and also produced a game-high seven steals to go with seven rebounds and three assists.

Elena Rodriguez contributed 13 points and four rebounds. Gabby Anderson chipped in eight points and six rebounds and Lola Mullaney had eight points and four rebounds.

Sophomore forward Adi Smith paced the Black Bears with 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

Sophomore guard Paula Gallego scored eight points. Caroline Bornemann and Sarah Talon had seven points each and combined for seven rebounds.

Olivia Rockwood scored six points.

Simon played 11 minutes in her return to the lineup and had one basket, three assists and a rebound.

Harvard rattled off a 13-0 run after Rockwood opened the game with a 3-pointer and the Crimson never looked back.

UMaine couldn’t get any closer than seven points the rest of the way.

The Black Bears turned the ball over five times during the 13-0 run and had 12 turnovers in the first half as Harvard took a 37-24 lead into the intermission.

Those 12 turnovers resulted in the Crimson having a 15-0 edge in points off turnovers in the half and the Ivy League team cemented the win in the third quarter by outscoring UMaine 22-16.

“It wasn’t a good showing and give credit to Harvard for taking advantage,” said UMaine head coach Amy Vachon to Black Bear Sports Properties and Van Wagner play-by-play man Don Shields after the game.

“I’m not sure what happened. We tried a lot of different people and nothing worked,” Vachon added.

She was pleased she was able to get Simon back into the lineup even on a limited basis.

UMaine will visit Milwaukee for an 8 p.m. game on Thursday.