Blanca Millan connected for 18 of her game-high 22 points in the first half on Wednesday, spearheading the University of Maine women’s basketball team to a 69-51 America East victory over the University of Massachusetts Lowell at Tsongas Center in Lowell, Mass.
Millan went 7-for-16 from the field, including four 3-pointers, in the first 20 minutes to help the Black Bears build a 13-point halftime advantage.
Interim coach Amy Vachon’s team improved to 14-8 overall, 7-2 in conference play, with its fifth consecutive win.
Millan, who scored in double figures for the 21st straight game, also provided five rebounds and four steals for UMaine, which received 11 points each from Dor Saar — who grabbed a career-high seven rebounds and handed out six assists — and Parise Rossignol of Van Buren. Julie Brosseau contributed nine points, four assists and a steal.
The Black Bears were without starting junior guard Tanesha Sutton, who was held out of action because of a sore foot.
UMaine shot 43 percent from the field, including and 11-for-20 performance (.550) from the 3-point arc.
UMass Lowell (3-19, 0-9 AE) was paced by 15 points and five rebounds from Kayla Gibbs. Brianna Rudolph posted 12 points and six rebounds.
The River Hawks shot 49 percent overall (21-for-43) and scored 38 points in the paint, but committed 18 turnovers that led to 18 points by the Black Bears.
UMaine was able to distance itself from UMass Lowell with a 12-0 scoring surge late in the first half. The Black Bears led 27-23 when Fanny Wadling scored twice during a span of 41 seconds to ignite the run.
Rossignol connected on a jumper to make it 33-23 with 2:07 remaining in the second quarter.
Millan kept UMaine on its roll, making back-to-back 3-pointers 36 seconds apart to extend the advantage to 39-23 with 45 seconds left in the half.
UMass Lowell received a conventional three-point play by Gibbs to end the quarter, but two Rossignol baskets early in the second half made it a 17-point game and sent the Bears on their way.
UMaine returns to action on Saturday with a 1 p.m. America East game at Binghamton, which handed the Black Bears a 66-62 overtime loss in Bangor on Jan. 6.