The University of Maine women’s basketball team used a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter to pull away from America East newcomer Bryant University and secure a 74-62 victory in a mutual conference opener at the Chace Athletic Center in Smithfield, Rhode Island, on Thursday afternoon.
Freshman guard Sarah Talon of Windham poured in a game-high and career-high 21 points coming off the bench, and went 8-for-12 from the floor including nailing both of her 3-point shots. She also contributed five rebounds, two steals, a blocked shot and an assist.
The 5-foot-10 Talon had five points during the decisive 10-0 run on a jump shot that triggered the run and a traditional 3-point play.
Junior guard-forward Caroline Bornemann had the other five points on a 3-pointer and a layup as UMaine turned a 56-53 lead into a 13-point advantage with 4:49 remaining in the game.
Bryant could get no closer than 10 the rest of the way.
Both teams are now 5-8 overall.
“Sarah Talon was huge for us,” said UMaine head coach Amy Vachon to Van Wagner/Black Bear Sports Properties play-by-play man Don Shields after the game. “She made some really big shots and got rebounds. She was really, really big for us.”
Sophomore forward Adi Smith had 19 points and she also had 13 rebounds and five assists, which were both game-highs. She also had two steals.
Skowhegan freshman Jaycie Christopher had 10 points, three rebounds and two assists and Bornemann finished with nine points and eight rebounds.
Senior guard and reigning America East Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Anne Simon, who missed eight games with a high ankle sprain before returning to play 11 minutes in a loss to Harvard on Dec. 18, was injured again and only played 11 minutes but managed to score eight points.
Olivia Rockwood contributed five points and two steals and Paula Gallego had three rebounds and two blocked shots along with two points.
Six-foot-three junior forward-center Mariona Plane Fortuny paced the Bulldogs with 20 points and six rebounds. Senior guard Nicole Gallagher produced 11 points and nine rebounds and sophomore guard Kemari Reynolds chipped in with 10 points, four assists, three steals and two rebounds.
Marta Neira Martinez notched eight points, five rebounds and a game-high five steals. Blanca Chasco came off the bench and had six points and three rebounds. Lucie Castagne had four points, three rebounds and three assists.
The Black Bears trailed by one after the first quarter but outscored Bryant 26-9 in the second period to take a 40-24 lead into intermission.
The Bulldogs rallied in the third quarter, outscoring UMaine 25-11 to pull within two.
Fortuny had 10 points in the third quarter and Gallagher nailed a pair of threes.
UMaine shot 47 percent from the floor (31-for-66) and 31.8 percent beyond the 3-point arc (7-22) compared with Bryant’s 36 percent (18-for-50) and 35.7 percent (5-14), respectively.
UMaine outrebounded Bryant 36-33.
“There were some really good things and there some not-so-good things,” Vachon said. “We have to figure out how to be more consistent all the way through the game.”
Bryant will travel to Binghamton for a 2 p.m. game on Sunday while UMaine will entertain UMass Lowell next Wednesday at the Memorial Gym at 7 p.m.