Junior guard Blanca Millan scored a game-high 23 points as the University of Maine women’s basketball team claimed its second consecutive America East regular-season championship by virtue of a 67-60 victory over Binghamton in Vestal, New York on Saturday.
It was UMaine’s 11th consecutive win and improved its record to 22-7 overall, 15-1 in America East.
Binghamton wound up the regular season at 12-17 and 7-9, respectively.
UMaine hosts New Hampshire (6-23, 3-13 AE) in Wednesday’s 7 p.m. America East quarterfinal at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
UMaine outscored Binghamton 23-12 in the third quarter to build a 21-point lead and withstood a fourth-quarter rally by the Bearcats although the Bearcats couldn’t get any closer than nine until Hayley Moore’s 3-pointer with 17 seconds remaining.
Dor Saar, Fanny Wadling and Tanesha Sutton each scored 11 points for the Black Bears. Millan contributed four rebounds and two steals and Saar made four assists and four steals. Wadling had 12 rebounds and five assists and Sutton grabbed nine rebounds.
Maddy McVicar came off the bench and chipped in with seven points and a pair of steals.
Rebecca Carmody’s 17 points and game-high 15 rebounds led Binghamton. Kai Moon had 14 points, eight rebounds, two steals and two assists. Annie Ramil contributed seven points and seven rebounds and her sister, Olivia Ramil, had six points and four assists. Carly Boland had six points, also.
Millan tallied 15 of her points in the first half to help the Black Bears build a 34-26 halftime lead. She shot 5-for-7 from the floor.
Millan nailed a couple of 3-pointers in the third quarter to swell the lead to 40-26.
Two Wadling free throws and a Sutton layup off a Parise Rossignol pass later made it 47-31.
Moon converted a traditional 3-point play but UMaine went on a 10-2 run to expand the lead to 57-36 with 1:46 left in the third period.
UMaine outscored Binghamton 18-6 from the 3-point arc as the Black Bears went 6-for-25 while holding Binghamton to a 2-for-19 showing.
UMaine also had a 21-12 edge in second-chance points and scored 23 points off turnovers compared to Binghamton’s 15.