CASTINE — The Bridgewater State Bears used a suffocating defense to force 34 turnovers en route to a 68-48 win over Maine Maritime Academy’s Lady Mariners in the Mariner Classic Championship game on Sunday.
The Lady Mariners had advanced to the championship game with a 67-60 first-round win over the University of Maine – Fort Kent on Saturday.
In Sunday’s final, Elisha Homich paced Bridgewater with 17 points while teammates Megan Boutilette and Michaela Cosby pumped in 14 and 12.
Boutilette and Cosby each pulled down eight rebounds, which led to an All-Tournament selection for Boutilette and the Most Valuable Player award for Cosby.
Senior Leah Jackson of Dedham and sophomore Bekah Campbell each scored a team-high 11 points for MMA.
Jackson and MMA senior Courtney Dufour were selected to the All-Tournament team for the Mariners.
Bridgewater State took an early 10-2 lead, sparked by Homich’s four points, before the Mariners closed the gap to three, 10-7, with 14:15 left in the first half.
Rachel Kusz’s layup at 13:05 put the Bears up 15-7 before MMA scored seven unanswered points.
But the Bears moved back in front 31-24 by halftime, and opened the second half with a 22-5 scoring run to lead 53-29 with 11:59 to go.
That lead never fell below 15 points for the remainder of the game.
In the consolation final, Colby College’s Diana Manduca netted a team-high 16 points and added five assists and nine rebounds to lead the Mules to a 61-51 win over UMFK.
In Saturday’s first-game win for the Lady Mariners, Jackson and Campbell again led the offense.
Jackson finished with a game-high 14 rebounds and a team-high 13 points, and Campbell had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
UMFK jumped out to a 13-6 lead, with seven points from Jennifer Colopitts and six by Ericka Christensen, early in the first half.
The Lady Mariners answered with an 8-1 scoring run to even the game at 14-14 with 7:28 left in the first half. Junior Alexis Bennett scored four of her 11 points in the run for MMA
MMA led 31-25 at halftime and opened the second half with eight unanswered points to lead 39-25.
The Bengals cut the lead to 39-34 with 14:38 to go, but a three-pointer by DuFour and a Jackson layup put the Lady Mariners ahead 55-45 and they held on for the win.
Christensen also recorded a double-double for UMFK with game-high 17 points and team-high 13 boards.
The Lady Mariners will return to action on the road Dec. 1, facing St. Joseph College in Standish at 1 p.m.