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NCAAW Preview: Maine goes for third-straight America East Tournament title

The Maine Black Bears face off against the Stony Brook Seawolves in the America East finale. The Black Bears are on the hunt for their third-straight conference tournament championship, while the Seawolves are looking for their first title in program history.

NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 23 Div I Women’s Championship - First Round - Maine v NC State
Blanca Millan (jersey #22) is averaging 21.4 points per game.
Photo by Michael Berg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Maine Black Bears face the Stony Brook Seawolves in the America East Tournament finale at 5 p.m. ET on Friday (ESPNU). The Black Bears have won the last two tournaments, in 2018 and 2019, and are making their fifth-straight appearance in the final. The Seawolves are making their first appearance in the tournament final since 2014 and have never won the tournament in program history.

Maine is led by the America East Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Blanca Millan who led the conference in scoring (21.4) and steals (2.9) and was first in rebounding (7.5) among players playing more than 15 games. Two additional players for Maine, Anne Simon and Dor Sarr, were named to the All-America East First Team. Simon averaged 12.8 points and 5.3 rebounds. Sarr notched 9.6 rebounds per game, while leading the conference in assists (4.9 per game) and 3-point shooting (39 percent).

Asiah Dingle led the Seawolves with 11.2 points and 3.6 assists and was named to the All-America East second team. All-America East third teamer Anastasia Warren scored 10 points per game. The Seawolves also feature the America East Sixth Player of the Year McKenzie Bushee, who scored 5.8 points in 16 minutes per game and shot 56 percent from the field, which led the team. It is also worth noting that Stony Brook won the America East regular season in 2020 but the tournament was cancelled due to the pandemic.

In the regular season, the finalists split their two head-to-head matchups with a point differential of zero. Stony Brook won the first matchup 59-54, while Maine won the second meeting 54-49. The Seawolves feature the best scoring defense in the America East at 50.2 points allowed per game and the Black Bears were second in the conference at 52.1 points.

Here’s what to expect from the matchup and how to watch:


Game Information

No. 2 Stony Brook Seawolves (14-5, 11-3 America East) vs. No. 1 Maine Black Bears (17-2, 13-2 America East)

When: Friday, March 12, at 5 p.m. ET

Where: Memorial Gymnasium in Orono, ME

How to watch/listen: ESPNU/Radio: 96.1 FM WGUY

What to watch: Expect a low-scoring final as both teams have shown the ability to stymie their opponents. Maine is the favorite based on its overall season performance but in its loss to Stony Brook it was held to 32 percent shooting. The Black Bears’ advantage on the offensive end is their 3-point shooting, as they shot 33 percent as a team.