WATERVILLE, Maine – Down by as many as 16 points, the University of Southern Maine Huskies women's basketball team rallied to force overtime but continued to struggle with its shooting from the field in a 72-63 overtime loss against the Colby College Mules Tuesday night at Wadsworth Gymnasium.
Colby earns its second straight win to improve to 8-11 overall. The Huskies, playing in their second consecutive overtime game and fourth game in eight days, drop to 12-7 overall.
Keagan Dunbar and Ainsley Burns each scored 17 points to lead four players in double figures for Colby. Burns hit three three-pointers, snagged 10 rebounds and had three blocked shots in a double-double effort for the Mules. Grace Coutu and Paige Russell each had 11 points. Coutu also snagged 10 rebounds for Colby, including five offensive boards, while Russell had seven rebounds and four assists.
Freshman Victoria Harris (Altus, Okla./Lewiston) led Southern Maine with a game-high and career-high 18 points. Harris also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, and had a blocked shot and a steal. Senior Alexa Srolovitz (Montreal, Quebec/New Hampton School (NH) and sophomore Kristen Curley (Gorham, Maine) each had seven points. Curley had four rebounds, two assists, four steals and three blocked shots. Junior Katie Howe (New Boston, N.H.) and freshman Michelle Rowe (Gorham, Maine) each had six points.
Trailing by 16, 53-27, with 2:12 left in the third after Colby's Paige Russell sank one of nine Mule threes in the game, Southern Maine rattled off an 8-0 run to close out the quarter to half its deficit, 53-45, heading into the fourth. Harris started the run with a layup and Howe ended it with a three on an assist from Srolovitz.
Colby struck first with a layup from Coutu in the fourth, and the Mules maintained a two-possession lead through the first four minutes of action. Down 55-51, scored four of the Huskies next six points on a jumper and two free throws to knot the game up at 57. Both teams exchanged blows over the next 90 seconds, and the Mules led by a bucket, 63-61, after one of two free throws from Sarah Hancock. Down to its final possession, the Huskies were blocked on their final shot, but retained the ball. In the final play, Curley was fouled and calmly hit two free throws to send the game to OT. Despite the momentum swing, the Huskies, who shot an uncharacteristic 27.3 percent from the field, were unable to connect in the extra frame, going 0-for-9 from the field and 0-4 from the free throw line. The Mules connected on just one field goal in OT, a layup from Coutu, but went 7-for-10 from the free throw line to secure the win. Five different Mules scored in overtime.
Southern Maine hosts UMass Boston on Saturday (1:00 p.m.) in a Little East Conference game. The Huskies will be raising funds for NFI North's Beacon House during both games.