The University of Maine Black Bears’ women’s basketball team played Saturday, Nov. 3 against the Stonehill College Skyhawks at the Cross Insurance Center Arena in Bangor. UMaine won their season opener 85-46, easily overcoming their opponent.
This win comes after an impressive season last year where the Black Bears made it all the way to the NCAA playoffs during March Madness. UMaine won all three games in the American East playoffs and came out as champions of the conference. This sent the team to Texas to play against the University of Texas at Austin, for the first round of the NCAA playoffs, where the team lost 54-83.
The success of last season is quite promising and the win against Stonehill strengthened hopes of the Black Bears returning to the NCAA playoffs and making their push deeper into the playoff bracket. This expected success was also seen in the American East preseason poll where eight teams placed UMaine as the number one team in the conference. UMaine was given 64 points by the coaches while the closest two teams each had 53 points. These teams were Hartford and Stony Brook, and Hartford was the only other team to receive a first place prediction.
The team proved themselves and came out on top every quarter, scoring 21 points in the first compared to the Skyhawks 11. The game started off with Stonehill scoring first, however this was the highest and only lead for the Sky Hawks this game. UMaine scored eight consecutive points to put the score at 2-8.
The Black Bears didn’t let up for the rest of the game. UMaine worked hard to make a point and show why their conference believes they’re the team to beat. The Black Bears made an impressive 31 of 62 shots from the field and 12 of 26 (46.2 percent) from beyond the arc. The pinpoint accuracy came from many different players, including leading scorers third-year guard Blanca Millan who scored 30 points, as well as second-year guard Dor Saar who scored 17. Fourth-years guards Tanesha Sutton and Maddy McVicar each put up 13 points as well.
The Black Bears not only attacked with ferocity but controlled the ball with patience and skill. This was made evident with their ten turnovers throughout the game compared to the Skyhawks’ 21. With 15 steals as well, UMaine made easy work of gaining possession of the ball. Both teams were able to secure 34 rebounds, with no standout leader on the stat.
The Black Bears will be playing again Saturday, Nov. 10, against the University of Toledo at the Cross Insurance Center.