The University of Maine women’s basketball team wanted to atone for a 66-62 overtime home loss to Binghamton on Jan. 6 in which the Black Bears turned the ball over 25 times and got outscored in the paint 32-18.
They did just that on Saturday afternoon in Vestal, New York.
Sophomore guard Blanca Millan scored a game-high 20 points, grabbed nine rebounds, made five steals and blocked two shots to lead the Black Bears to a convincing 61-38 victory over the Bearcats at the Events Center.
UMaine won its sixth in a row and improved to 15-8 overall, 8-2 in America East, while Binghamton fell to 15-8 and 6-4 and had its four-game winning streak snapped.
Millan also held America East’s leading scorer, Imani Watkins, to 15 points with the help of her teammates. That is seven points below her average.
Junior guard Tanesha Sutton, who was questionable due to a foot injury, pumped in 15 points and hauled down nine rebounds to go with three steals and two assists. Sophomore guard Julie Brosseau went 5-for-6 from the floor and hit both of her 3-point attempts to finish with 12 points and junior guard Parise Rossignol of Van Buren chipped in with six points and seven rebounds.
Freshman point guard Dor Saar produced six rebounds and three assists and had two points.
Watkins had three rebounds and three assists to accompany her 15 points. Kai Moon had 10 points, five rebounds and two assists and Alyssa James registered nine rebounds, seven points and three steals. Rebecca Carmody had seven rebounds and two assists along with a basket.
UMaine outscored the Bearcats 28-12 in the paint and held them to 25 percent shooting from the floor (13-for-52).
The Black Bears used a pair of 9-0 runs in the first half to build healthy leads.
Millan’s 3-pointer and a pair of 3s by Rossignol in the first period established a 17-5 lead and UMaine’s 9-0 spurt in the second quarter, featuring seven points by Sutton, swelled the lead to 31-10.
Binghamton rattled off the next 10 points, five by Watkins, to pull within 11 but that was as close as the Bearcats would get as a Millan layup and free throw closed out the half.
UMaine interim head coach Amy Vachon said her team did a “real good job.
“We played well defensively. Binghamton had to work for everything,” said Vachon. “Our goal coming into today was to contest every shot and we did that. We also wanted to take care of the ball and rebound and we did that, too.”
UMaine turned the ball over just 11 times and outrebounded Binghamton 40-31. Binghamton had outrebounded the Black Bears 42-40 in their earlier game.
“We attacked them from the free throw-line in and we got layups. Tanesha did an outstanding job of that,” said Vachon. “Blanca had an outstanding performance and we wanted Parise to crash the boards and she did that. She has been playing really well for us.”
UMaine entertains Hartford (14-9, 6-4) 7 p.m. Monday at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
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