April 07, 2020

Bears fall short in 2OT against Stephen Austin > Ernest and Grover strong for UMaine in loss

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – For the second straight game, the University of Maine women’s basketball team had an opportunity Saturday night to earn an important victory on the road.

For the second time in a row, the Black Bears came up a little short.

Sophomore point guard Ellen Geraghty was whistled for a player-control foul trying to split a double-team on a 3-point attempt with six seconds left in the second overtime Saturday as Stephen F. Austin held on for a 74-71 victory over UMaine at Johnson Coliseum.

“[Geraghty] pulled up and shot and barely touched the kid,” Versyp said of the final call. “We didn’t get any calls. That’s what happens when you’re on the road.”

The Bears also had a shot to win the game at the end of regulation, but were unable to convert. UMaine (2-3) suffered its third consecutive loss, but first-year coach Versyp came away from the game encouraged by her team’s performance.

“I think it was uplifting,” Versyp said. “I told my team it’s not a win in the record book, but for me it’s a win for them how hard they worked and how they came together. We gained a lot.”

UMaine placed five players in double figures, led by the 13-point, 13-rebound effort of freshman Heather Ernest of Temple. The 6-foot-1 forward registered her fourth double-double in five games.

Christy Grover of Bucksport scored 14 points for the Bears, while Geraghty also provided 14 points, a career-high, and three assists. Poised freshman guard Julie Veilleux of Augusta netted 13 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in overtime, and provided three assists and three steals, playing 47 of the game’s 50 minutes.

Versyp marveled at Veilleux’s poise under pressure on her second 3-pointer, which pulled the Bears within one at 72-71 with 17 seconds remaining.

“Julie got the ball and she looked where she was. It was totally an NBA-[range] three,” Versyp said. “It was nothing but net.”

The Ladyjacks pushed the lead to two points on Patricia Brown’s free throw with 14 seconds left, then Jessica Guild made one of two from the line after rebounding Brown’s miss to make it 74-71.

Kizzy Lopez added 12 points for UMaine, which committed 16 turnovers against the Ladyjacks despite having made 38 in Thursday night’s overtime loss at Northwestern State (La.).

“Stephen F. Austin’s pressure was tougher for us [than Northwestern State’s], but we executed,” Versyp said. “We had shots and they didn’t fall. We had free throws, they didn’t fall. Now, we’ve just got to knock down the shots.”

The Bears had built a 64-60 lead in the first overtime on layups by Ernest and Grover, but SFA battled back to tie it when Brown nailed a jumper with four seconds to play. UMaine didn’t get off a last-second shot when Brown stole the ball from Ernest at the buzzer.

UMaine shot a season-best 46 percent from the field, with Grover and Ernest each going 6-for-9 from the floor. Grover had sent the game into OT on a layup with 58 seconds left in regulation, but she fouled out in the first overtime.

Stephen F. Austin (4-2) also placed five players in double figures, led by Brown’s 17 points. Winters contributed 15 points and Tami Rater provided 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Nathesia Wright and Guild added 12 and 10 points, respectively.

The Ladyjacks outrebounded the Bears 42-36, racking up 24 offensive boards.

UMaine was without sophomore forward Anna James, who injured her hand during a Friday practice. She is questionable for Tuesday’s 7 p.m. America East opener at Boston University.

Ladyjacks 74, Bears 71 (2 OT) Maine (2-3) Stephen F. Austin (4-2)

Player G AG F AF TP Player G AG F AF TP

Lopez 4 7 3 5 12 Brown 6 10 5 6 17

Veilleux 5 14 0 0 13 Rater 4 9 3 4 11

Grover 6 9 2 3 14 J. Guild 4 7 2 4 10

Stone 2 5 0 0 5 N. Guild 1 6 0 0 3

Geraghty 5 14 3 4 14 Winters 5 13 5 8 15

Heon 0 1 0 0 0 Wright 3 9 5 7 12

Moldre 0 2 0 0 0 Prater 0 2 0 2 0

Ernest 6 9 1 2 13 Dilworth 0 2 4 5 4

Guerrette 0 0 0 0 0 Grant 1 2 0 0 2

Collins 0 0 0 0 0

Totals 28 61 9 14 71 Totals 24 60 24 34 74

Maine 33 56 65 71

Stephen F. Austin 31 56 65 74

3-pt. goals: Maine (6-17): Lopez 1-3, Veilleux 3-5, Stone 1-2, Geraghty 1-6, Ernest 0-1; SFA (2-13): N. Guild 1-6, Winters 0-1, Wright 1-4, Prater 0-2

Attendance: 315

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