The University of Maine women’s basketball has always prided itself on its defense but the Black Bears put on a memorable offensive show in Sunday afternoon’s 95-66 America East victory over Binghamton at the Cross Insurance Center.
The Black Bears erupted for 35 points in the third quarter including a 29-13 run over the last 6:42 of the period to build a 26-point cushion en route to the victory.
The 35 points is the most UMaine has scored in a quarter this season.
UMaine (13-7 overall, 6-1 AE) led 47-37 when it went on its decisive 29-13 run as the Black Bears shot 8-for-12 from the floor including a 5-for-6 showing beyond the 3-point arc. Binghamton (8-12, 3-4) went just 1-for-9 from the floor during that time, scoring 10 of its 13 points from the free throw line.
Seven Black Bears scored in the flurry led by senior guard Tanesha Sutton’s seven points and junior guard Blanca Millan’s six. Fifth-year senior Parise Rossignol and sophomore Kelly Fogarty contributed five each from their guard spots.
Millan finished with a game-high 29 points and she also grabbed six rebounds. Rossignol netted 14 points with three rebounds, sophomore point guard Dor Saar contributed 11 points, nine assists and five rebounds and had only one turnover.
Sutton chipped in with 10 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Junior forward Fanny Wadling netted eight points and grabbed 10 rebounds while also doling out three assists. Fogarty had eight points off the bench and Maeve Carroll notched six points and six rebounds.
“It was a great team win,” said UMaine coach Amy Vachon. “We shot the ball well and moved the ball really well. We had 23 assists and just four turnovers. That’s really impressive.”
UMaine shot 48.6 percent from the floor (35-for-72) and 39.3 percent beyond the 3-point arc (11-for-28) while Binghamton was 36.1 percent (22-for-61) and 26.3 percent (5-for-19), respectively.
“They’re a good team so we knew we had to put together a full effort and I think we did,” said Rossignol. “So many different people did good things for us. Twenty-three assists and just four turnovers is huge.
“We’ve been talking about keeping our focus and working hard throughout the whole game and that’s what we did,” said Millan.
Kai Moon’s 15 points and two assists paced Binghamton. Carly Boland had 12 points and four assists. Rebecca Carmody finished with 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds with two assists. Kaylee Wasco had eight points and three rebounds.
“Maine’s a great team,” said Binghamton first-year head coach Bethann Shapiro. “They did a great job getting down the floor (in the third quarter) and we weren’t going as hard as we should have.
“Maine plays really well together. They’ve been doing their motion (offense) for a long time and Amy does a terrific job with their system. They are a very good, veteran team,” Shapiro added.
Shapiro also praised Millan, saying “she’s a pro player. She is special. She lit us up.”
Rossignol scored the game’s first five points on a pull-up jumper and a 3-pointer, and the Black Bears never trailed.
UMaine’s led by as many as 13 in the first half before Binghamton used a Boland basket and an Annie Ramil volleyball-like tap-in at the buzzer to pull within nine at the intermission.
“It’s always huge to get off to a good start,” said Rossignol. “We’ve talked about getting better at keeping our foot on the gas pedal throughout the whole game. In the past, it was something we’ve had struggles with. But today we extended the lead in the fourth quarter.”
UMaine outrebounded the taller Bearcats 47-34.
Prior to Binghamton’s 5-0 run to close out the half, the Black Bears had used an 11-3 run to build their biggest lead of the game at 41-28 behind five points by Millan, a basket and a free throw from Wadling and a Saar 3-pointer.
Millan had 14 points over the first 20 minutes and she also grabbed five rebounds. Rossignol had nine points, and Saar had eight to go with five assists and four rebounds. Wadling chipped in with seven points and eight rebounds, along with two assists.
Boland paced the Bearcats with 10 points and two assists. Moon had eight points and two assists and Carmody contributed seven points and seven rebounds.
UMaine entertains UMass Lowell at 7 p.m. Wednesday.