The University of Maine women's basketball team is preparing for Friday's America East Championship game against the University of Hartford, and as several UMaine players mentioned prior to the start of Tuesday's practice, the Black Bears are preparing for the Hawks' aggressive style of play and their ability to create turnovers.

When the two teams last met Feb. 5 at the Cross Insurance Center, that aggressive approach forced UMaine into 28 turnovers, far more than the team's regular season average of 17.1 turnovers per game.

"They press like the entire game, 40 minutes. They have a really aggressive press," sophomore guard Blanca Millan said during Tuesday's media availability. "They want to get this game, too. So, it's going to be a really tough game."

UMaine's 59-56 win over Hartford last month in Bangor did not come easy. It was a game of runs with the two teams battling back and forth until the Black Bears took the lead for good on a Tanesha Sutton layup with 23 seconds left in the game.

The Hawks' aggressive defense did more than just force turnovers, it completely shutdown the Black Bears offense at times. Hartford went on a 19-0 run in the first half and held UMaine without a basket for more than 11 minutes.

"That's something we have to prepare for. We didn't handle it the best our last game home against them," junior guard Parise Rossignol said. "We're gonna put in a lot of work this week getting ready for that, and hopefully we'll be ready to go."

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