(PRESQUE ISLE, ME) -- Despite missing a starter due to injury and still licking wounds from a double-overtime loss three days earlier, the University of Maine-Presque Isle women's basketball team brought their defense for the first 15 minutes of Wednesday night's game against UMaine-Machias. That is where the energy ended however and the experienced Clippers took over, going on a 14-2 run to take a lead they would never relinquish en route to a 59-44 win in Presque Isle.
Machias moves to 3-2 on the season, while the Owls fall to 0-4.
The Owls came out in the 2nd and tried to keep the game tight. After an opening bucket by the Clippers' Dana Houghton gave the visitors a 9-point lead at 28-19, the Owls ran off six quick points on an Emily Pelletier (Sr./Fort Kent, ME) three and an Amanda Hotham (Fr./Fort Fairfield, ME) three-point play to pull within three.
Over the next twelve minutes the two teams tussled, sometimes literally, for control. Machias was never able to get up by more than 7, but the Owls were never able to get closer than 3.
Once again fatigue and focus became factors for the Owls in the final 5 minutes of the game. Down only 41-38 with 6:58 left, Presque Isle begin to settle for quick jumpshots and Machias took advantage. The Clippers broke the game open with a 9-0 at that point and finished the game's final 7 minutes on an 18-6 run.
"It's (fatigue) something we're going to have to deal with all season," said Owls' head coach Marc Heidorf, "I am impressed that our crew came out and battled like they did to start the 2nd. In the end though, we will have to decide if we want to overcome it or if we're ok playing 16 minute halves to our opponent's 20."
Hotham was aggressive off the bench, taking the ball right at the Clips and drawing fouls. She hit on 9 of 11 free throws and scored a game and career high 16 points.
Kylee Alton (Fr./Burnham, ME), getting her first college start, was an economical 4-6 from the floor and finished with 9 points.
The Owls will hit the road in search of their first win next Monday, December 3rd when they travel to UMaine-Augusta. That contest will be played on the court of Eastern Maine Community College. Tip will be 5:30pm.
Owls' guard Olivia McNally (Jr./Sherman, ME) missed the game due to an injury sustained in Sunday's 2OT loss to Southern Maine Community College.
Hotham was named the Bradley's Citgo and Carwash "Player of the Game" for Me.-Presque Isle.
The Owls shot 77% (17-22) from the free throw line, their best performance from the charity stripe this season.