MAINE vs. TOWSON
Time, site: Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Towson Center, Towson, Md.
Records: Maine 7-2 (3-0 America East); Towson 7-4 (3-0)
Series: Maine leads 5-0
Key players: Maine – 6-4 C Jamie Cassidy (18.7 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.2 bpg), 6-1 F Klara Danes (10.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg), 5-7 G Amy Vachon (6.6 ppg, 5.9 apg, 4.1 rpg, 2.6 spg), 5-9 G Sandi Carver (5.0 ppg), 6-0 F Katie Clark (4.3 ppg); Towson – 6-2 C Jess Gordon (10.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg), 5-8 G Sonia Keiner (9.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg), 5-11 F Shniece Perry (8.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 4.3 spg), 5-3 G LaTonya Joyner (8.9 ppg, 4.5 apg), 5-9 G Michele Lanigan (7.9 ppg, 3.4 apg).
Outlook: The Bears are expected to be without starting guard Cindy Blodgett, and her 28 ppg, for the first time in 101 games. She is out with plantar fasciitis in her left foot. Maine must pick up the offensive slack and maintain its defensive intensity. Cassidy has been dominant inside, but the Bears may need a boost on the perimeter from Carver or Kristen McCormick. Towson, picked in the polls to finish last, is tied with Maine for the league lead. Perry leads the league in rebounds and steals, while Gordon provides another threat inside. The Tigers also have enough depth to match up with Maine. The Bears eked out a four-point win at Towson last season, but won the next three games by an average of 37 points.