MAINE women vs. HARTFORD
Time, site: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.; Alfond Arena, Orono
Records: Maine 9-2 (5-0); Hartford 5-8 (4-1)
Series: Maine leads 24-2
Key players: Maine – 6-4 C Jamie Cassidy (20.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg), 6-1 F Klara Danes (10.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg), 5-10 G Kristen McCormick (6.6 ppg), 5-7 G Amy Vachon (6.4 ppg, 6.4 apg, 2.8 spg), 5-9 G Sandi Carver (6.3 ppg); Hartford – 5-11 F Eryn Ivnik (10.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg), 5-8 G/F Tracy Stolle (8.9 ppg), 5-10 G/F Allison Macca (8.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.1 spg), 5-9 F Desiree Humbert (8.0 ppg, 8.6 rpg), 5-7 G Maureen DiJulia (4.3 ppg, 4.9 apg)
Outlook: Maine is riding a three-game winning streak, but will again be without injured star Cindy Blodgett. The Bears beat Towson and Delaware on the road last week. Hartford, 3-0 in league road games, is coming off last-second wins over BU and Northeastern. The Hawks, who rank second in scoring defense at 62.1 ppg, must find a way to slow down Maine, which leads the league at 82.2 ppg. However, Hartford doesn’t match up well against Cassidy, who is averaging 26.5 points in her last four games. Hartford’s impotent offense ranks last with 54.4 ppg. Limiting second shots is a key for Maine, which is 5-0 when outrebounding opponents. Hartford was the last league team to beat Maine (70-58 on Jan. 30, 1997).
MAINE men vs. HARTFORD
Time, site: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sports Center, West Hartford, Conn.
Records: Maine 4-9 (1-4 America East), Hartford 6-7 (3-3)
Series: Hartford leads 18-11
Key players: Maine – 6-1 G Fred Meeks (22.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg), 6-1 G Marcus Wills (21.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg), 6-6 F Allen Ledbetter (16.0 ppg, 12.1 rpg), 5-11 G Dade Faison (3.8 ppg, 6.3 apg), 6-7 F Colin Haynes (6.2 ppg, 9.4 rpg); Hartford – 6-2 G Justin Bailey (21.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg), 6-8 C Ryan Howse (14.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg), 6-3 G/F Keith Bike (12.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg), 6-6 F Anthony Bethune (12.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg), 6-7 F Chris Eames (6.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg)
Outlook: The Black Bears will be in for a much sterner test against a Hartford squad they defeated 93-82 on Dec. 2, for two reasons. First, every road game in America East will be tough on the undermanned Bears. And second, Bethune – a second-team All-Conference pick last year – is back in the fold after sitting out the first semester because of academic woes. That will provide some matchup problems down low, where the Hawks already had a returning All-Conference first-teamer in Howse. UMaine will also have to do a better job against Bailey this time around to have a shot. Look for Meeks to bounce back from his first sub-par scoring effort, an eight-point outing against Delaware.