University of New England’s Lindsey Howland charges up the court in the second quarter, Wednesday. ALEX SPONSELLER/ Journal Tribune

University of New England’s Lindsey Howland charges up the court in the second quarter, Wednesday. ALEX SPONSELLER/ Journal Tribune

BIDDEFORD — The University of New England women’s basketball team picked up its second straight conference win with an 84-48 victory over visiting Gordon, Wednesday.

After a tough first quarter in which UNE took a 23-19 lead, the Nor’easters would string together a 15-0 run to begin the second and take control the rest of the way.

UNE fired on all cylinders in the final three quarters, and were led on both ends of the floor by center Alicia Brown, who scored a game-high 14 points. Laura Holman also added 12, while Lindsey Howland scored 11.

Although the UNE offense caught fire in the second quarter, UNE coach Anthony Ewing felt that the team’s defense is what sparked the turnaround.

“(It was) the defense — we haven’t been getting enough stops recently and it’s hard to go on those runs when you don’t get stops and it’s hard to get any momentum going. We got stops, our defense really picked it up and it fed our offense,” said Ewing.

The offense made the most of its opportunities, hitting over 43 percent of its three-point shots and carrying a field goal percentage of 66.7. The Nor’easters would outpace Gordon 51-29 in the final 30 minutes to secure the win.

Ewing also felt that Gordon’s defensive adjustments opened the door for greater offensive efficiency.

“They were having some issues with us on the inside so they went to the zone, so I thought we were patient when looking for a good look against the 2-3. We were able to knock down some three’s since they packed it in on the inside,” said Ewing.

After dropping three straight contests, UNE has now picked up back-to-back Commonwealth Coast Conference wins and improves to 8-5 on the year. It was unfamiliar territory for the defending CCC champs, who lost just three games in total during last year’s regular season.

“It’s huge — we need to start getting some confidence again and get rolling,” said Ewing. “Hopefully we can keep this momentum going that we have started the last few games and carry it through the rest of the year. Hopefully we will be peaking at the right time when we get to the conference tournament.”

The Nor’easters have also experienced significant roster turnover this season, but Ewing believes his team’s hard work in practice will lead to success come postseason.

“We took a good step today. We are young we had a couple of kids out so at one point we had nine healthy players and six of them were new to the program. It’s tough when you are starting from scratch like that, but the kids are working hard and as long as they keep that mindset in practice then I think we will get to where we need to go,” said Ewing. “We’ve had some peaks and valleys, but they’ve reacted pretty well to it and their practice habits are improving all the time.”

— Associate Sports Editor Alex Sponseller can be reached at [email protected] or at 282-1535 ext. 323.

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