NCAA W. Basketball: 4th quarter comeback comes up short as Beavers fall to Moose on senior day

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FARMINGTON – The University of Maine at Farmington women’s basketball trailed for 38 minutes and 48 seconds straight before a Jacqui Hamilton (Gorham, Maine) three-pointer from the top of the key gave the Beavers a 69-68 lead with 1:14 left to play. Alicen Higgins hit a three from the left corner on the ensuing Moose possession, leading UMA to a 72-69 lead to spoil Farmington’s senior day.

The Moose got rolling early on Saturday afternoon, forcing turnovers on the defensive end, and turning them into layups at the other end. Alisyn Alley, Alicen Higgins, and Kaeti Butterfield each had six points in the opening quarter as UMA opened up a 24-16 lead.

After a free throw and back-to-back layups from Jessica Dow (Saco, Maine) brough the Beavers within five, the Beavers were held scoreless for the next three and a half minutes as the Moose opened up an 11-point lead. A pair of free throws from Sarah Poli (Benton, Maine) ended the Beavers scoreless spell, but UMA closed the half on a 10-3 run to take a 42-26 lead into halftime.

The Beavers quickly cut into the 16-point deficit to start the 3rd quarter behind three-pointers from senior Jaycie Stevens (Pittsfield, Maine) and Maddy White (Waldoboro, Maine). Dow also hit a pair of free throws on the Beavers’ run to start the half.

A Sage Fortin put an end to the Beavers’ run and helped the Moose regain a double-digit advantage. UMA held on to a 57-46 lead heading into the 4th quarter.

After an Alley jumper to open the quarter, the Beavers began to dig their feet in defensively, getting the necessary stops to get back into the ballgame. A 9-2 run for Farmington over the next 2:30 made it a six-point game with 7:18 to play.

After both teams were held scoreless for 2:40, Fortin drilled another key three to extend UMA’s lead up to nine. Dow responded with six straight points for the Beavers and Stevens followed with a three to make it a four-point game with 2:29 remaining. ]

After a Moose turnover, Stevens missed a three from the right wing but followed her own shot, got the rebound and hit a contested layup to pull the Beavers within two. Alley missed a jumper on the ensuing Moose possession that gave Farmington the ball and the chance to tie or take the lead. Grace Dwyer (Manchester, Maine) found a wide open Hamilton at the top of the key who drilled the three to give the Beavers their first lead of the ballgame.

Higgins drilled a three on the other end as the Moose reclaimed the lead. After Dow missed a jumper with 39 seconds, Alley hit one of the two free throws with 11 seconds to go. White grabbed an offensive rebound off a Dow miss, dribbled to the corner and got a three off at the buzzer the struck back iron and rimmed out as the Beavers comeback attempt fell just short.

Dow scored a game-high 22 points off the bench while also grabbing five rebounds and picking up three steals. Stevens finished with 15 points, four assists, three rebounds, and three steals. Poli finished with nine points and 12 rebounds while Dwyer had six points, five assists, four steals.

Four Moose finished in double figures led by Alley’s 17. Alley also finished with five steals, three assists, and three rebounds. Higgins posted 14 points and nine rebounds. Fortin finished with 11 points while Butterfield added 10.

The loss for the Beavers signals the end of their season, finishing the season with a record of 7-17.

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