BANGOR, Me. – The University of Maine jumped out to a 12-point halftime advantage and held off a second half rally by the Towson University women’s basketball team for a 72-58 victory on Saturday afternoon in the Cross Insurance Center. Guards Tanisha McTiller and Dominique Johnson combined for 26 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
“Any time you give up the amount of points we gave up its tough,” said Towson coach Niki Reid Geckeler. “Defensively we struggled and Maine executed when they needed to.”
The two teams traded baskets early on as Towson grabbed a 6-5 lead at 15:51 as McTiller connected on a pair from the foul line. The Tigers and Black Bears got hot from three-point range as the two sides combined for three triples in just over a minute. The third of those three-pointers came from Johnson and gave Towson an 18-17 edge with 11:11. However, that was the last lead the Tigers held in the game.
Just 10 seconds after Johnson’s three, Lauren Bodine hit a three-pointer that allowed Maine to take the lead back for good. Bodine’s triple started a 15-4 run for the home team, which gave Maine a 32-22 advantage with 7:06 left in the half. Towson scored the next seven points of the game to cut its deficit to 32-29 with 3:56 remaining. Sophomore guard Alliyah Berger had five of the Tigers’ seven points during that stretch. Maine closed out the first half on a 9-0 run and took a 41-29 lead.
Maine (6-5) shot 59.3% from the field in the first half and went 5-for-5 from the foul line. Towson (4-7) shot 36.4% in the first 20 minutes and made 2-of-4 chances from the charity stripe. Both squads grabbed 17 rebounds in the first half.
The Black Bears opened the second half on a 13-7 run and took a 54-36 lead with 12:55 to play. That was Maine’s largest lead of the contest. The Maine lead would fluctuate between 13 and 17 points over the next five minutes as Ashleigh Roberts converted a three-point play at 8:16 for a 63-47 lead. Redshirt senior forward Nyree Williams hit a pair of shots from the foul line at 7:37 to start a 7-0 run by the Tigers. That run was capped by a lay-up from redshirt junior forward LaTorri Hines-Allen at 5:25 which cut the Towson deficit to single-digits, 63-54. The two teams traded baskets over the next several minutes. Maine went 5-for-6 from the foul line in the final 1:37 to cap the 72-58 victory.
Maine shot 40.7% from the field in the second half and 50% for the game. The Tigers managed to shot 37.5% in the second stanza and 36.8% for the game. The Black Bears edged the Tigers in the rebounding battle 37-36.
McTiller finished with 16 points, three rebounds and two assists while Johnson had 10 points, four rebounds and four assists. Hines-Allen was the third Tiger in double figures as she finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. Williams led Towson on the boards with nine while adding nine points.
Bodine led Maine with 15 points and five assists while Liz Wood had 10 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
Towson will take a few days off for the holidays before returning home to host Loyola (Md.) on Saturday, Dec. 28 at 2 p.m. in SECU Arena.