Estero, FL - The University of Maine Black Bears defeated the Missouri State Lady Bears 69-65 at the third-annual Gulf Coast Showcase this afternoon, led by junior guard Sigi Koizar with a career-high 30 points.
"I thought Sigi was terrific," Maine head coach Richard Barron said. "She had a terrific all-around game today."
Koizar helped the Black Bears dominate the first half, putting up 15 points, alongside senior forward Liz Wood, who added 11 points and 5 rebounds. The Black Bears held the Lady Bears to a four-minute scoring drought during at the end of the first period, before a pair of free throws by sophomore forward Aubrey Buckley snapped MSU's scoreless spell.
Following a 7-2 run, Maine got its biggest lead of the day at 23-17 with six minutes left in the first half. The Black Bears - who shot at 50 percent efficiency in the first 20 minutes - went into the half with a 33-26 lead.
"We really wanted the ball in Sigi's hands especially when they were trying to trap and run an odd zone sort of run where they were running and scrambling," Barron said. "When she had the ball, we thought she did a great job."
MSU cut their deficit to 50-49 after ending the third period on a 14-3 run. Sophomore guard Liza Fruendt and senior guard Tyonna Snow combined to score 22 of the Lady Bears' 23 points in the period. Though MSU got its first lead since late in the first period at 50-51 with seven minutes left in the game, Maine pulled ahead with the win.
"I thought we played really well until midway through the third quarter," Barron said, "I give a lot of credit to Snow and Fruendt. Those two kids bulldozed us with threes and drives to the basket. They were relentless in their effort; that's what brought them back. But we were able to hang on."
The Black Bears will face the winner of today's matchup between Marist and LSU at 1:30 pm.