BANGOR, Maine — Three-pointers will be a way the University of Maine Black Bears can compensate for their suspect interior defense which was exposed by Maine Maritime Academy standout junior forward Alayne Felix, who scored 21 points on 10-for-15 shooting primarily from the paint in Tuesday night’s 89-49 UMaine victory at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
The 5-foot-10 Felix used her quickness and agility to maneuver past UMaine defenders and take the ball to the basket.
Felix and teammate Tess Clark, a junior guard, said they knew the Black Bears were going to be a fundamentally sound team but they didn’t anticipate the barrage of threes.
“It surprised me how many threes they could make,” Felix said. “They’re a Division I team. They have amazing players. I respect them 10-fold. But I didn’t expect them to to be so lights-out in shooting.”
“We knew 10 [Julie Brosseau] made seven threes in their last game [83-70 loss at No. 8 Ohio State] and she had been averaging 21 points a game recently. But 22 [Blanca Millan] and 20 [Julie Fogarty] came out and shot threes. They could all shoot threes,” Clark said.
UMaine went 16-for-33 beyond the 3-point arc for a season’s best 48.5 percent with Millan hitting six of seven en route to 24 points, Brosseau (12 points) going 4-for-7 and Fogarty (13) nailing 3 of 10 en route to 13 points.
It is the fourth time in nine games that UMaine has hit 10 or more 3-pointers.
“We have a real good 3-point shooting team,” UMaine head coach Amy Vachon said. “I’ve been saying that since day one. We have three of the best shooters we’ve had since I’ve been here. When we get our feet set, we’re really good shooters.”
But Vachon was less than enamored with her team’s interior defense.
“[Felix] had 21 points,” said Vachon, whose team has been outscored 208-174 in the paint by its Division I opponents.
“We have great shooters and we keep practicing our shooting every day,” said Millan, who is now 22-for-48 beyond the 3-point arc on the season.
Brosseau leads the team with 24 on 67 tries.
“We emphasize shooting in practice,” said Brosseau, who now has 21 threes in her last five games.
Fogarty is third on the team with 11 on 33 attempts.
Nine different Black Bears have hit a 3-pointer this season.
The Black Bears are now shooting 33.7 percent beyond the 3-point arc (82-for-243) including a 39.3 percent mark over their last five games (55-for-140).
Maine Maritime Academy was their second and final Division III opponent.
The Black Bears will hit the road for a Saturday game at Dartmouth. The Big Green are 6-1 including Tuesday night’s 57-49 victory over New Hampshire.
The Black Bears will conclude the 2017 portion of their schedule against NCAA runner-up Mississippi State on Dec. 17, former UMaine coach Joanne P. McCallie’s Duke Blue Devils on Dec. 19 and Boston College on Dec. 28.
Duke was an NCAA tournament team a year ago.
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