UMaine women cruises to fourth straight win

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UMaine women cruises to fourth straight win

Postby Tom Nolette » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:01 am

WBB vs UMBC Jan 28, 1:00 PM
ESPN3 1230 WGUY-AM
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Re: WBB vs UMBC Jan 28, 1:00 PM

Postby Tom Nolette » Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:56 am

Maine Women's Hoops
@BlackBearsWBB
The Black Bears look for their fourth-straight victory when they host UMBC on Sunday at 1 PM!

Preview: http://bit.ly/2nf7aTq
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Israeli freshman Dor Saar demonstrating growth as point guar

Postby Tom Nolette » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:19 am

Israeli freshman Dor Saar demonstrating growth as point guard

...Interim head coach Amy Vachon said Saar’s love of basketball and desire to learn is reflected in how she plays. She has a high basketball IQ.

“She is a very smart kid. She knows the game, she understands it and she knows where the ball needs to go and who needs to get it. It’s fun as a coach having a kid on the court who can do that,” said Vachon.

“She creates (shooting opportunities) for everyone else and she has started creating for herself, too, and that’s good,’” said junior guard Tanesha Sutton.

Basketball is in Saar’s genes.

“My grandfather used to be a professional basketball player and a really good one,” said Saar.

http://bangordailynews.com/2018/01/27/s ... ball-team/
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Re: WBB vs UMBC Jan 28, 1:00 PM

Postby MaineBBFan99 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:37 pm

Great win for the Black Bears this afternoon. Stifling defense (gave up 36 points and forced 20+ turnovers), great three-point shooting, and good ball control (only 8 turnovers - its fourth straight game with less than 10 turnovers) allowed Maine to cruise to a 30+ point blowout of UMBC.

Granted that UMBC is near the cellar of the America East, but you have to bring your A-game pretty much every night in this conference because of the level of parity that exists top to bottom. Maine certainly brought its A-game today.
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UMaine women’s basketball team cruises to fourth straight wi

Postby Tom Nolette » Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:53 am

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Re: UMaine women cruises to fourth straight win

Postby mainah57 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:43 pm

Awesome (blowout) win yesterday vs. UMBC. Nice big crowd in attendance... hoping we can get that crowd (and more!) for the upcoming last few home games, and especially for the last *weekend* home game of the season (Sun, Feb 25th vs. Albany). Maybe it was just me, but the atmosphere at the CIC this weekend seemed slightly more lively than usual...

I have to say, this is definitely a bizarre conference for WBB at times. Yesterday, UMBC looked downright awful. And yet, this is the same team that came within 3 points of handing Albany a loss... and were up almost 10 points over UNH at the half of that game (at UNH). Still, I wouldn't be too sad if UMBC was the team we saw in the first round of the tournament - seems they have the potential to come close to an upset (or even occasionally luck into one), but if we play reasonable well, we should be able to handle them just fine on most nights.

Ultimately, as we move into the second half of conference play starting this week, I think securing either the 1 seed or the 2 seed will be especially crucial this year, given the parity among the top 5-6 teams. I think there's a big gap between the top ~5 teams in this conference (Albany, Maine, UNH, Binghamton, Hartford), and everyone else. I might even add Stonybrook to that cluster of teams, as I think they are a better team than their record indicates - that Johnson girl they have is *good*, and really does carry her team on her back. I wouldn't be shocked to see Stonybrook able to pull out a win about just about any team in this conference.

If I had to pick a first-round matchup, I'd hope for either UMBC or Vermont at this point (Crymble is good, but they don't really have many other offensive weapons - for some reason she scares me less than Johnson from Stonybrook).

Also, nice article above about Saar - thanks for sharing that. Great to read that she has a special agreement where her Israeli army service is being deferred until after she graduates from Maine. Hope she can stick with those cold Maine winters that she mentions - because she definitely seems to have a huge ceiling, given that she's already contributing regularly and playing with confidence (as a freshman!).

I also came across this interview posted on the AE website with Coach Vachon a few days ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhO3nEuobz0 - speaks a bit to the coaching change and how the team has done a nice job of handling adversity over the past couple years.
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Re: UMaine women cruises to fourth straight win

Postby dunbar » Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:45 pm

mainah57 wrote:Awesome (blowout) win yesterday vs. UMBC. Nice big crowd in attendance... hoping we can get that crowd (and more!) for the upcoming last few home games, and especially for the last *weekend* home game of the season (Sun, Feb 25th vs. Albany). Maybe it was just me, but the atmosphere at the CIC this weekend seemed slightly more lively than usual...


Younger crowd... makes a difference.
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Re: UMaine women cruises to fourth straight win

Postby turkeyman » Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:49 pm

Mainah and Dunbar, right you are. Nice crowd with lots of young people. The kids put a whole different atmosphere into the CIC. I'm going to Lowell on Wednesday (11 a.m. game time!) and expect to see more of the same.

Interesting to note differences in coaching in the three latest games. At Hartford, shut down the high scorer (Abed), at UNH limit touches for the high scorer (Pogue) but shut down everybody else, against UMBC, shut down the high scorer (Castaldo). In all three cases, it worked. For that matter, Clymer of UVM had a good game against Maine, but the rest of the team, including 1,000-point scorer Sydney Smith, just didn't step up.

Also interesting to me against UMBC was that when Phil Stern gave up on his starters and put in the bottom five, neither the tenor nor the margin changed much. Maine was already up 20, stretched it to 35 and won by 31. The youngsters from UMBC didn't seem to commit any more turnovers or miss any more shots than the starters. UMBC has a ton of freshmen and sophomores, no juniors, and five seniors. It may be able to put a pretty good team into its new building when it opens next year. With its style of play, it might still reach up and bite one or two contenders this year. If two or more kids get hot, its ball movement could cause problems for the top five (or six) in AE.

In the top six, I like Maine's chances. Albany has the tradition that Maine had 1994-2000. It would be hard to pick against UAlbany, though Maine has beaten the Danes in each of the past three seasons, twice here and once there. Bingo scares me the most. Rebecca Carmody just eats Maine alive. And with those horn-rimmed glasses, she hardly looks like a ball player. (Sorry, specs wearers. I've been wearing glasses for 56 years, and I hardly look like a ball player, either.) Imani Watkins may well be the best player in America East. She exploded against Maine here, and it will be interesting to see what Coach Vachon comes up with on Saturday down there. Let her go, a la Pogue, or try to shut her down, a la Abed and Castaldo? Without having seen Albany, it is hard to predict who might yet pick it off. Albany smoked Bingo, struggled twice with Stony Brook and lost to Hartford. Stony Brook there also worries me. The team lost four of its top five scorers but has come back with an almost all-new cast and sometimes plays quite well. Maine hasn't played really well down there the last couple of time, but this team is much better on the road than last year's and some others. And the new toughness of mind by Maine will help. With Brittany Lai back, UNH remains a threat despite its bad last week.

Really, to me, it comes down to Albany, Maine, UNH and Bingo. Hartford can be really good and is still the only team to beat Albany. Abed is in the dual role that Sigi had last year. She plays the point but she has to call her own number a great deal because she is usually such a reliable scorer. Both Hartford and Stony Brook could be spoilers.

Just a side note: I'm noticing people at games -- this does NOT apply to UMaine women's games, in my experience -- who come to the games but don't pay attention. At UMA-UMPI game last Thursday in Disgusta, the people around me were all talking but never about the game. Something similar at the Colby-Husson game Wednesday in Waterville. Lots of side chatter, less talk about the game than usual.

By the way, Dunbar, very belated congratulations on graduating. I have often said that anyone wanting an education in engineering can't go wrong by choosing UMaine. It may be the best overall engine school in New England, and, yes, I'm aware that MIT is in New England. Combining the academics with your commitment to the band and to UMaine sports gave you well more than a full-time job. Congratulations. Well done.

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Re: UMaine women cruises to fourth straight win

Postby mainejeff » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:18 am

Maine is playing like they did when Liz Wood & Co. were seniors..the difference being that Maine's starters are not seniors. I'm very impressed with how this squad plays as a team. They really seem to be hitting their stride. Maine is one frontcourt player & one taller Dor Saar away from being unbeatable in this league.
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