University of Maine women’s basketball coach Amy Vachon and her team took Wednesday’s postponement of the game at the University of New Hampshire in stride.
“It is what it is. We’re used to it,” said Vachon. “We just added another day of practice.”
The Black Bears, 7-8 overall and 3-0 in America East, will host a new-look University of Maryland Baltimore County team (6-9, 3-1) on Saturday at the Memorial Gym in Orono at 1 p.m.
COVID-19 issues within the UNH program forced the postponement. It has been rescheduled for Monday, Feb. 13.
Vachon said she would have preferred to play on Wednesday because it now creates a challenging week in February. UMaine plays at Vermont on Wednesday, Feb. 8, hosts the New Jersey Institute of Technology on Saturday, Feb. 11, and then travels to Durham, New Hampshire. two days later.
Vachon said she used the extra practice day to work on the team’s press break and half-court defense.
Another area of concern is her Black Bears’ third-quarter struggles.
In their three conference games, they have been outscored 71-34 in the third quarter.
“We are all very aware of it. But we don’t need to make any adjustments. We had a tough go of it in the second quarters earlier this season,” Vachon said.
“We need to be more consistent throughout the game,” she added.
The one player who has been consistent is sophomore forward Adi Smith, who is averaging 27.7 points, 11 rebounds and 4.7 assists in her three conference games to lead the league in both categories.
“She is playing great. She is a really hard worker and she is getting more playing time than last year,” Vachon said.
In all games, she is averaging 14.1 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists.
She already has eight double-doubles, which is 15th best in the country. It is the most double-doubles at UMaine since Liz Wood had eight during the 2014-15 season.
Junior forward Caroline Bornemann and senior guard Anne Simon are the other Black Bears averaging double figures in scoring with 10.4 and 10.1 ppg, respectively. Bornemann is also averaging 6.3 rebounds and Simon is at 3.7 rpg.
UMBC has already eclipsed last year’s conference win total. The Retrievers were 2-14 a year ago in conference and 3-23 overall.
Johnetta Hayes, who was hired as the head coach on April 26, 2019, has brought in five quality graduate student transfers to turn the program around, including leading scorers KK White (11.4 ppg) from Wright State, Kiara Bell (10.9 ppg) from Long Island University and Ashia McCall (9.1 ppg) from Morgan State. Bell is also averaging 8.3 rebounds per game.
“They have a whole new team and they’re very good. They attack the rim and play hard. We are going to have to defend [to win],” said Vachon, who likes where her young team is right now.
“I feel great about our team. They are competing. We just have to find some consistency. That’s the key right now,” Vachon said.