BANGOR — The University of Maine women’s basketball team beat Albany 76-65 in an America East game Saturday at Cross Insurance Center, but knows it has plenty of room for improvement.

“I thought our team played well for two and a half quarters. We just didn’t really play well in that fourth quarter,” Coach Amy Vachon said. “We just have to find that consistency and we’ll be a really tough team.”

Ahead by 24 points late in the third quarter, Maine saw the Great Danes cut the deficit to six with 3:03 left. The Black Bears then closed with a 6-3 run.

Maine (11-6, 4-0) is off to its best America East start since winning the league in 2004.

“When we score 65 and give up 76, that’s going to be tough for us. Our lull in the third quarter and not putting 40 minutes together hurt us,” Albany Coach Colleen Mullen said.

A Tanesha Sutton jumper with 2:35 to play pushed Maine’s lead back to eight, and Blanca Millan’s steal on the ensuing possession by Albany (4-12, 1-2) effectively wrapped things up for the Black Bears, who recovered from a sloppy fourth quarter.

“Our defense wasn’t good at all that last quarter,” said Millan, who had 27 points and four rebounds.

Added Parise Rossignol, who scored 20 points for Maine: “We had opportunities to get layups we left out there. I think there was four times we should have got layups. That’s eight points we didn’t get.”

Maine had trouble with Albany’s full-court pressure in the fourth quarter and when it did break the press, missed open shots.

The Black Bears also allowed too many open shots and Albany made them. An Amanda Kantzy 3-pointer with 3:03 left cut the lead to 68-62.

“I thought Albany played really hard. It’s not surprising they don’t die. A lot of those kids won (conference) championships,” Vachon said.

Mullen praised her team for not quitting, adding the Black Bears are tough to defend. Mullen said Sutton (15 points) made tough shots with a hand in her face as the shot clock wound down.

“Maine makes you defend everybody on the floor,” Mullen said. “(When) you’ve got to track a lot of people, it spreads you out. I think they made some tough shots. I think Millan had the quietest 27 points. That kid is just so smooth.”

The Black Bears led 43-32 at the half, with ball movement a key. Maine opened the third quarter with a 7-0 run that appeared to put Albany away.