University of Maine’s Adrianna Smith comes down with a rebound over Fordham’s Kaitlyn Downey in the first half of the womens basketball game at Orono Dec. 8, 2022. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Sophomore forward Adi Smith registered her 11th double-double of the season and the University of Maine women’s basketball team outscored the University of Massachusetts Lowell 20-8 in the third quarter en route to a 61-50 America East victory over the River Hawks at Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Massachusetts. 

UMaine improved to 10-9 overall and 6-1 in America East while UMass Lowell fell to 2-16 and 1-7, respectively.

It is UMaine’s 14th consecutive America East regular season road victory. 

UMaine was without reigning America East Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Anne Simon, who re-injured her ankle in the third quarter of the Black Bears’ 50-46 win at Binghamton on Saturday.

She first suffered the high ankle sprain in the 55-46 loss to Yale on Nov. 19 and she missed the next eight games.

UMaine head coach Amy Vachon told Van Wagner/Black Bear Sports Properties play-by-play man Don Shields that Simon will be sidelined “indefinitely.” 

Thousands of local school children turned out to cheer on the River Hawks on Health and Fitness Field Trip Day but Olivia Rockwood’s 3-pointer with 4:31 left in the first quarter broke a 6-6 tie and gave the Black Bears a lead they would never relinquish.

Rockwood’s three triggered an 11-2 run that closed out the first quarter and supplied UMaine with a 17-8 lead.

Rockwood capped the 11-2 run with a 3-pointer and Paula Gallego had a pair of baskets.

UMass Lowell cut the lead to six late in the first half but Skowhegan freshman Jaycie Christopher’s 3-pointer with eight seconds left in the half restored the lead to 27-18 at the break.

Smith took over in the third period as she scored 11 points, including the Black Bears’ first nine points, as they built the lead to 47-26 after three periods. 

UMass Lowell scored the first seven points of the third quarter to climb within 47-33 but Rockwood’s 3-pointer with 6:50 remaining gave the Black Bears some valuable breathing room and the River Hawks couldn’t get any closer than 11 the rest of the way.

Smith finished with a game-high 21 points and 11 rebounds. She also had four assists.

Junior guard Rockwood, who had scored only 26 points in her previous eight games including three scoreless outings, finished with 14 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the floor. That included a 4-for-6 performance beyond the 3-point arc.

Junior forward Caroline Bornemann notched her third double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds. She also had three assists and two steals.

Christopher contributed 10 points, two assists and two steals.

Milli Carrera’s 16 points, five rebounds and two assists paced the River Hawks. Ivory Finley netted 12 points and two rebounds, Amaya Dowdy had seven points, four rebounds and three blocked shots, and Kaylen Banwareesingh produced six points, six rebounds and two blocks.

Vachon told Shields she was happy with her team’s performance.

“The end got kind of sloppy there but I am really happy with our team. I felt our defense, for the majority of the game, was really good. Offensively, we moved the ball and got some really nice shots,” Vachon said.

UMaine hosts defending America East tournament champ and preseason favorite Albany on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Memorial Gym in Orono. Albany upset UMaine 56-47 in last year’s title game and took a 13-8 record, 7-0 in America East, into Wednesday night’s home game with New Hampshire. UMass Lowell entertains New Hampshire at 5 p.m. on Saturday.