Women’s basketball fails to make a comeback in nail-biting fourth quarter against Maine, falling 62-63


Brian Bae

The Huskies played their first home game against Maine Sunday afternoon, closely losing 62-63.

Niyati Parikh, news staff

The women’s basketball team opened their home-game schedule Sunday with a nail-biting loss to the University of Maine, 62-63. 

This season, NU will dedicate each home game to a victim of racism and police brutality, with this game being dedicated to Breonna Taylor, the 26-year old EMT who was shot by police in her own home. 

This game marked the home debuts for freshmen forwards Izzy Larsen, Leyla Öztürk and guard Maddie Vizza, as they are the final team in the CAA yet to make its regular-season debut. However, having only been back to full practices for about two weeks, coupled with five players not dressed to play, including key playmaker junior forward Alexis Hill, they were unable to perform at their best. As a spectator you begin to question if this game was in fact a Sisyphean task. 

“We’re missing Lex [Hill], Katie [May], and Anna [Boruta],” said head coach Kelly Cole refuting that notion. “Those are three major contributors that we don’t even have on the floor right now and I look at what we were able to do on the floor tonight without them and that’s the light at the end of the tunnel. We did a lot of really great things tonight, just not the outcome we wished for.” 

The Black Bears (3-0) opened up the contest two minutes into the first half with a layup by sophomore forward Abbe Laurence over senior guard Stella Clark. Clark then returned the favor with an opening triple for the Huskies. 

Despite a triple team on junior guard Kendall Currence, she somehow found the hole in the defense for a pass to graduate student forward Ayanna Dublin who finished the layup to regain the early lead. 

The Huskies lost their way a bit, going scoreless for well over five minutes with five turnovers, 0-5 on field goal attempts and letting Maine take a 9-0 run. Larsen ended the drought with an inbound pass layup assisted by Clark who directed her on where to go from the baseline with her eyes, literally. 

Maine ended the first frame with a haphazard attempt at a three-pointer right at the buzzer that somehow found nothing but net by senior guard Dor Saar that put them up 16-13. 

NU went on another scoring drought, this time only three minutes but going 0-4 on field goal attempts giving the Black Bears another 7-0 run as the Huskies were down by 10 points with less than three minutes left to play in the first half. 

However, it seemed that the Huskies weren’t backing down as Clark hit a triple that put the game within two possessions while Currence went end-to-end with a layup giving the Huskies an uncontested 8-0 run. It wasn’t enough to secure the half as the Black Bears were still up, 26-32. 

In order to ensure a successful second half, the Huskies needed to be more confident with their passes, be more aware on the court and stop the threat of Black Bears’ fifth-year guard Blanca Millan, who led the team with 12 points in the first half. 

Even with the massive block by Öztürk on Millan, the Huskies couldn’t lock her down as she went 5-7 in the third frame, gaining another ten points under her belt. Maine went on to pad their lead going into the final ten minutes of the game, 44-49. 

The Huskies started the fourth quarter strong with sophomore guard Mossi Staples tying up the game for the first time since the first quarter with a triple and less than five minutes left to play. The Huskies then went on to take the lead with a Currence triple with two minutes left. 

However, much like the rest of the game, Millan put the nail in the coffin with the game-winning layup with 14.8 seconds left in the game, giving Maine a 63-62 lead. She ended the game with 33 points. 

The top players for the Huskies were Clark and Currence, both finishing in double digits in points, with 21 and 19 respectively. Currence had five rebounds and two assists to her name while Clark, the arguable MVP of the game for the Huskies, had eight rebounds, four assists and went 5-8 on triples. NU shot 39.1% in the arc and 50% beyond it. 

The Huskies (0-2) head into their conference schedule looking for their first win of the season during a back-to-back weekend at Elon University (4-1) at 1 p.m. Jan. 2 and Jan. 3.