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Maine women beat Vermont 64-48 to win America East championship and secure first NCAA bid since 2019

ORONO, Maine (AP) — Adrianna Smith scored 10 of her 16 points in the first half, Anne Simon added 15 points and No. 1 seed Maine beat No. 3 seed Vermont 64-48 on Friday to win the America East Tournament championship for the first time since 2019.

Maine (24-9) claimed its 10th conference championship in its 23rd appearance in the America East title game.

Vermont (22-11) was seeking to win back-to-back America East championships for the first time since 2010.

Sarah Talon made a 3-pointer to beat the shot clock and give Maine a 14-point lead, but Andjela Matic answered with a 3 at the other end just before the halftime buzzer to pull Vermont within 34-25. Both teams shot 45.5% from the field in the first half, but Maine made four 3-pointers and outrebounded Vermont 20-13.

Vermont was held to just eight points in the third quarter, going 2 of 13 from the field as Maine built a 51-33 lead. The Catamounts finished 18-of-48 shooting (38%), including 1 of 9 from distance.

Talon had 12 points and Olivia Rockwood scored 10 for Maine.

Anna Olson led Vermont with 21 points. Emma Utterback, Vermont’s leading scorer at 14.5 points per game, was held to six points on 3-of-14 shooting.

It was the 104th meeting all-time between the Black Bears and the Catamounts. Maine swept Vermont in the regular season, winning 60-48 at home and 57-55 on the road.

___ Get alerts and updates on AP Top 25 basketball throughout the season. Sign up here ___ AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball