UMaine women's basketball team plays game days after crash

10:43 PM, Mar 2, 2013   |    comments
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ORONO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Four days after the University of Maine (UMaine) women's basketball team was involved in a serious bus crash, they played in their season final against the University of New Hampshire (UNH). A decision that wasn't an easy one to make.

It was questionable whether the women would play in Saturday's game against UNH because they've had so many injuries this season, and the crash that happened to the Cyr bus they were riding in Tuesday night rattled the entire team. It happened when the driver had a medical problem that caused him to pass out behind the wheel, traveling south on I-95. The bus crossed the median and then across the north bound lanes landing in the woods.

"Not all of us have hit that moment where it's like ok we're just lucky to be alive," said Sophomore Guard Courtney Anderson. "It hasn't hit me yet. I'm still very emotional over the whole situation."

All coaches and team members were evaluated after the crash with one player suffering a broken hand. The driver, 55-year-old Jeff Hamlin, is in good condition at Bringham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

The decision over whether the team should play in their season final was something Head Coach, Richard Barron debated heavily.

"I was surprised we played the game to be honest with you. I didn't think it was in our best interest to play," said Barron.

But the coach chose to leave the decision up to his players. After days of meetings and counseling sessions, the Black Bears made the decision to go ahead and play their last regular season game. According to Barron, the fact that the game would also be senior night was a big deciding factor.

The Black Bears suffered an 86-63 loss to the Wildcats. Given everything the team has been through over the last few days, defeated was the last thing they were feeling after the game.

"We know after all this we can still go out on the court and play together and have our backs on the court," said Freshman Forward Liz Wood. "I would do anything for these guys, you know we've been through so much."

The Black Bears were scheduled to play in the American East Championship, which begins Friday in Albany, NY. According to Barron, the decision on whether or not they make the trip will be made by the players.



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