BANGOR, Maine -The Husson University women's basketball team (1-0) tipped off their season with an exhibition game in Newman Gymnasium on Monday evening hosting Central Maine Community College Mustangs (0-1) in a non-conference game. Battling up to the final buzzer, the Mustangs nearly caught up with the Eagles in the final three minutes, just a basket away, but the Eagles maintained their composure to finish out the night with a 59-53 victory.
The exhibition started off with even play as both teams stepped onto the court with a strong defense. The Mustangs came out with a 5-4 lead to begin the game after a three-pointer by Natalie Thurber. Husson struck back with a three of their own by Emily Wheaton. Both teams saw a low scoring opening frame with the score closing out at 11-9 Husson.
The next quarter was a different game with the Eagles breaking out on a 17-4 run over seven minutes with help from Eagles Vanessa Duarte and Braylee Wildman each with a 3-pointer. A layup by Sami Ireland helped Husson finish the half with a 32-18 advantage.
Central Maine kicked off the third quarter with a big comeback run outscoring Husson 12-4 over six minutes to bring the score to 36-30, led by Thurber with five points for the Mustangs. Husson eventually answered back with a jump shot by Megan Peach and a buzzer beater by Barrett Campbell to finish the quarter with a Husson up 46-34.
The Mustangs started the fourth quarter trying to get back into the game bringing the score within eight points with 5:17 left to play and a full court press giving Husson trouble. The tide started to turn even more with a 6-0 run by Central Maine to bring the deficit to a mere four points. Thurber drained both of her free throws to bring the score within two points with 2:42 remaining. Following several more shots from the charity stripe, Husson stood strong defensively. A layup by Ireland in the final minute gave the Eagles a 6-point lead as Husson finished out the game with solid defense and ball control to pick up a 59-53 victory.
Ireland led Husson in scoring with 11 points, six rebounds, and three steals.
Kenzie Worcester put up 10 points while shooting 5-5 from the charity stripe, five assists, and four steals.
Both Campbell and Wheaton netted eight points apiece.
Alex Bessey led all scorers with 14 points, three assists, and two steals.
Thurber had 11 points with five steals.
Jordyn Reynolds added on 10 points and eight rebounds for the Mustangs.
The Eagles will kick off the regular season on Friday, November 17th in the Brandeis Tip-Off Tournament taking on Western Connecticut State at 7:00 p.m. in Waltham, Mass.