Castine, Maine -- The UMaine-Presque Isle Women's Basketball Team (6-11, 2-6 NAC) traveled to #2 Maine Maritime Academy (10-5, 4-2 NAC) on Saturday afternoon and came away with a thrilling 57 to 53 win in North Atlantic Conference (NAC) action inside of Smith Gymnasium on the Campus of MMA.
The Owls came out aggressively on the defensive end of the floor and the Mariners struggled to find any offensive rhythm throughout as UMPI built an early 15 to 12 lead after the 1st quarter. A Hunter Mercier (Fr. Fairfiled, ME) jumper and then a Mercier 3 pointer on an assist from Marissa Valdivia-Reagle, got the visiting Owls off to a 7 to 2 lead. After an Alayne Felix hoop inside got MMA 2 quick points, the Owls Emmy Churchill (Jr. Washburn, ME) connected on 2 free throws and two minutes later Mercier hit a deep 3 pointer for a 12 to 4 advantage. A MMA conventional 3 point play by Felix made it 13 to 7 before Laura Aroz (Jr. Tucson, AZ) hit 2 from the foul line for a 15 to 7 UMPI lead. Mariner point guard Megan McLean was fouled on a 3 point attempt and drained all 3 free throws bringing MMA to within 15 to 12 at the end of the 1st period.
Mikayla Charters of MMA hit a three to open up the second quarter to tie the game at 15-15 but Rhylee Wright hit three unanswered three-pointers, two of which were on passes from Sarah Mussleman, and Wright also, knocked down two free throws to put the Owls up 26-15. Maine Maritime battled back and closed the deficit to 29-25 entering halftime.
The Mariners outscored the visitors 12-11 in the third quarter to cut UMPI's lead to 40-37, but the Owls began to pull away midway through the final quarter, taking a 50-39 lead. A Kendra Silvers follow up hoop on a fast break by the Owls made it 46 to 38 at the 8:06 mark. Mercier came up with a big blocked shot and UMPI turned that into a layup on the other end by Reagle (So. Seattle, WA) on an assist from Musselman. Mercier would nail 2 free throws for the 50 to 39 lead. Maine Maritime battled back with Wright on the bench with foul trouble and closed the gap to one on two occasions, both times following a pair of free throws from Melinda Ogden. Two Churchill foul shots with 16 seconds left in the game and one free throw by Sarah Musselman (Fr. Turlock, CA) closed out the win for Me-Presque Isle
Inside the Numbers: Alayne Felix led all players with 17 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal and Ogden added 12 points, three rebounds, an assist and a steal for Maine Maritime Academy.
Wright led the Owls with 15 points, eight rebounds, and a steal and Hunter Mercier contributed 13 points, four rebounds, an assist and two blocks. Reagle scored 8 points and pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds to go along with 3 steals. Churchill scored 9 points for UMPI and grabbed 4 rebounds. Kendra Silvers (So. North Berwick, ME) contributed 6 points and 6 rebounds to the huge NAC road win for the Owls.
The Owls shot 35.6 percent from the floor and 43.8 percent from three-point land while maintaining a 43-33 advantage in rebounds.
Up Next: UMPI will next play a 5:00PM game at Unity College on Monday January 21st.