Waterville, Maine - The UM-Presque Isle women overcame a determined Thomas College Terrier squad Saturday, to return home with a hard fought 72-67 win. The win brings the Owls to 3-0 on the season.
The first half saw both teams going back and forth with five different lead changes. The Terriers had the largest lead with 9 at the 7:14 mark. The Blue & Gold were able to claw back, using the hot shooting of sophomore Amanda Hotham, ending the half down 31-29. Hotham came off the bench to hit for 11 first half points.
The second half was much of the same, with both teams creating the largest leads of the game on either side. Thomas came out firing, taking a 10 point lead at the 14:30 mark fueled by the efforts of Terrier Lexi Merrifield, who scored 15 of her team-high 17 in the second half.
UMPI continued to battle however and with 8:34 on the clock and Thomas up 51-49, Hotham got rolling again, scoring 7 straight points for the Owls. Hotham connected on a variety of shots, including her second long range bomb of the game to put UMPI up 5, a lead the Blue & Gold would not relinquish for the remainder of the game.
Thomas had one last push left in them, getting to within 4 points of UMPI with 37 seconds left but strong, heady guard play and made foul shots were enough to deny the comeback attempt.
The UMPI defensive effort in the second half led to 12 turnovers and 19 points off those miscues. That team defensive effort, coupled with the outstanding offensive work by the Owl backcourt of Darby Toth and Olivia McNally ensured the first 3-0 start for the UMPI women's program in many seasons. McNally scored 20 points, with 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and was 11-15 from the charity stripe, helping to salt the win away.
Toth, playing a full 40 minutes, was remarkable at the point. The sophomore from Hebron, Ohio added 11 points and only had 1 turnover against the very physical Thomas defenders that at one point were called for an intentional foul slamming her into the Mahaney Gymnasium bleachers.
"The measure of a true point guard isn't written on any stat sheet, although Darby had a solid game statistically, it's shown in the record of the team" said Head Coach Doug Carter. "Darbs had a tremendous game, nearly flawless, they tried to get physical with her and she just battled like anyone would expect a leader on a championship team would".
The Owls will next play UMaine rival Machias on Wednesday, December 4 at 8pm.