April 08, 2020
BANGOR DAILY NEWS (BANGOR, MAINE

Maine solid minus Blodgett> Black Bear star won’t play today

Cindy Blodgett is the offensive focus when she’s on the basketball court for the University of Maine.

With Blodgett sidelined for the first time in her career because of a foot injury Thursday night, the Black Bears simply switched the focus to their inside game.

Sophomore Jamie Cassidy sparkled as the hub of Maine’s attack, scoring 23 points on 10-for-15 shooting to help the Bears beat Towson University 72-52 in an America East game at Towson, Md.

Cassidy, a 6-foot-4 center from Methuen, Mass., also grabbed 12 rebounds and made three steals for 8-2 Maine, which remained unbeaten in league play at 4-0.

Maine coach Joanne Palombo-McCallie said the Bears will be without Blodgett again for Saturday’s 1 p.m. conference game at Delaware.

“She’s had improvement,” Palombo said. “We thought that she might have a chance to play [Saturday] and she went through position work in practice today. It went well, but not to the point where she’s able to play.”

Blodgett had played 101 consecutive games at UMaine prior to aggravating an injury to her left foot in the Bears’ Jan. 2 game in Orono against Boston University. She suffers from a condition known as plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the connective tissue on the bottom of the foot running from the heel to the base of the toes.

“We don’t want to have Cindy come back at 50, 60 or 70 percent,” Palombo said. “She can’t really be full go until she can full practice.”

Cassidy set the tone Thursday, but frontcourt mates Martina Tinklova and Klara Danes provided the perfect complement against the Tigers, now 7-5 overall, 3-1 in America East play.

The trio combined for 43 points, 22 rebounds and four blocked shots.

“You can’t replace Cindy, so you don’t try to do that,” Palombo said. “We just focused on our strengths, which obviously was to utilize our inside game.”

Maine, which clung to a 35-33 halftime lead, put Towson away with a decisive 15-2 spurt in the second half. Tinklova, a 6-4 freshman forward, provided the spark.

Tinklova hit a jumper and Kristen McCormick followed with a 3-pointer to ignite the run. A Tinklova free throw, Cassidy’s close-range hoop, and layups by Kizzy Lopez and Tinklova pushed the advantage to 57-43 with 9:58 to play.

The Bears shot 63 percent (15-for-24) from the field in the second half by virtue of its ability to get the ball inside against the smaller Tigers.

“I think we had excellent ball movement, that was probably the biggest secret in the second half,” Palombo said, pointing out the success of Maine’s high-low passing game with Tinklova and Cassidy.

“We had the ball all the time and they had to play a lot of defense,” Palombo added. “I think they got tired trying to defend.”

Defensively, the Bears had their best half of the season, limiting the Tigers to 19 points on 33-percent shooting in the final 20 minutes.

Lopez had her best outing in a Maine uniform. The freshman swing player finished with five points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes.

“We definitely have not been rebounding as well as we need to, especially from the guard spots,” Palombo said. “She dominated the boards. She’s a very physical player.”

Black Bears 72, Tigers 52

Maine (8-2) Towson University (7-5)

Name G AG F AF TP Name G AG F AF TP

K. Clark 0 1 0 0 0 Perry 6 11 1 1 13

Danes 5 9 0 1 10 Keiner 1 8 0 0 3

Cassidy 10 15 3 5 23 Gordon 3 15 0 0 6

Vachon 2 4 1 2 6 Joyner 2 9 0 0 4

Carver 3 5 0 0 6 Smith 3 4 0 0 7

Macream 0 0 0 0 0 Wright 1 3 0 0 2

McCormick 5 8 0 0 12 McGowan 2 6 0 0 4

Lopez 2 3 1 2 5 Lanigan 2 6 0 1 4

Tinklova 3 7 4 5 10 Speer 1 2 0 0 2

A. Clark 0 0 0 0 0 Pilione 0 2 0 0 0

Welsing 0 0 1 2 1

Stevens 3 6 0 0 6

Totals 30 52 9 15 72 Totals 24 72 2 4 52

Maine 35 72

Towson 33 52

3-pt. goals: Maine (3-6): McCormick 2-3, Vachon 1-2, Cassidy 0-1; Towson (2-13): Keiner 1-6, Joyner 0-1, Smith 1-1, McGowan 0-3, Lanigan 0-2

Attendance: 344


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