The University of Maine women’s basketball team placed five players in double figures, led by junior guard Blanca Millan’s 21 points, and shot 48.5 percent from beyond the 3-point arc to stun the University of North Carolina 85-73 at the Carmichael Arena in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on Sunday afternoon.
The Black Bears improved to 5-2 and extended their winning streak to three games.
It was UMaine’s first win over North Carolina in five tries.
The Tar Heels fell to 5-4.
The Black Bears, who were without leading rebounder and third-leading scorer Fanny Wadling (concussion), used a 19-5 run over the final 6:31 of the first half to take a 44-32 lead into the intermission before outscoring North Carolina 18-13 in the third quarter to expand the lead to 17 entering the fourth quarter.
North Carolina couldn’t get any closer than 12 the rest of the way.
UMaine knocked down 16 of its 33 3-point attempts to tie the school record and wound up shooting 49.2 percent from the floor (30-for-61) compared to UNC’s 27.3 percent shooting beyond the arc (9-for-33) and 41 percent overall (25-for-61).
“It was a great win. I’m really proud of everyone,” said UMaine coach Amy Vachon in a post-game interview with WGUY-FM of Veazie play-by-play man Don Shields. “It was a great team effort.
“These kids believe they can beat anybody,” added Vachon. “They’re a fun group to coach.”
Millan had seven steals, two assists and a blocked shot to go with her 21 points. Tanesha Sutton collected 17 points, eight rebounds, four steals and three assists and Dor Saar had 15 points, nine assists and three rebounds.
Parise Rossignol chipped in with 14 points and three assists and Kelly Fogarty came off the bench to score 12 points on four 3-pointers. She was 4-for-6 beyond the arc and also had two assists. Rossignol was 4-for-8 from three-point land.
Maeve Carroll, starting in place of Wadling, grabbed a game-high and career-high 11 rebounds including six offensive rebounds, and she also had six points, three assists and three steals.
“Maeve did so much, especially for someone her size (5-foot-11),” said Vachon.
Six-foot-four center Janelle Bailey paced the Tar Heels with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Stephanie Watts had 16 points, four rebounds and three steals and Paris Kea contributed 10 points and four assists. Taylor Koenen finished with nine points and eight rebounds and Shayla Bennett and Jocelyn Jones each had seven points with Bennett also picking up four assists and Jones grabbing six rebounds.
Millan’s 3-pointer off a Rossignol pass started the decisive 19-5 run with 6:31 left in the half and gave UMaine the lead for good at 28-27.
Sutton’s three off a Carroll pass made it 31-27 with 4:54 left before Sutton fed Millan for a layup.
Saar’s 3-pointer made it 36-27 before Kea ended UNC’s 3:47 scoreless drought with a three.
Saar passed to Rossignol for a jumper and Rossignol nailed a 3-pointer off a Fogarty pass to make it 41-30 with 2:08 left in the half.
Koenen answered with a basket but Fogarty’s three-pointer with 1:18 left closed out the half.
UMaine shot 9-for-13 during the 19-5 run while the Tar Heels went just 2-for-9.
UNC managed to close the gap to eight with 6:10 remaining in the third period and was within 10 with 2:15 left but the Black Bears finished out the quarter on a 7-0 run as Rossignol hit a three, Saar sank two free throws and Carroll hit a jumper in the paint with one second left.
“Parise hit some big shots,” said Vachon. “Kelly hit those threes and did some other good things for us and Dor did a great job directing everything.”
UMaine has a pair of Ivy League schools next on the schedule as the Black Bears will travel to play 4-4 Harvard University on Tuesday night at 7 in Cambridge, Mass., before hosting 6-5 Brown University on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
Former Bangor High School standout and Bangor Daily News All-Schoolgirl Basketball first teamer Mary Butler is a starting forward for Brown.
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