The University of Maine women’s basketball team has plenty of quality guards, and junior forward Fanny Wadling has been giving them a valuable inside presence this season to go with their perimeter game.
The 6-foot-1-inch native of Nacka, Sweden, had her second career double-double on Tuesday night against Bryant University to lead the Black Bears to a 74-57 victory in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Wadling finished with 16 points, on 7-for-11 shooting from the floor, and she grabbed 10 rebounds.
Wadling and her teammates will take on former UMaine head coach Joanne Palombo McCallie and her Duke University Blue Devils on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. UMaine is 2-0, while youthful Duke is 0-1 after suffering a season-opening 84-58 loss at Northwestern.
“I’ve worked more on my post moves and my play inside the paint, so I’m more comfortable with it,” Wadling said. “And I haven’t been thinking too much. I need to go out and do what I do best and play my game instead of thinking too much. That was my problem last year.”
Wadling also had two blocked shots, an assist and a steal in just 22 minutes of playing time.
“Everything clicked,” said Wadling, who had 11 points, seven rebounds, three blocked shots, two assists and a steal in the season-opening 73-59 win over Toledo on Saturday.
“She has been great this year,” UMaine head coach Amy Vachon said. “She had a fantastic game for us against Bryant. It was hard to take her off the court because we struggled without her out there.”
“I’ve never seen her in better shape or better skill-wise,” senior guard Maddy McVicar said. “Her post play has gotten a lot better. She has really done a nice job. She been finishing inside and that can also really help our outside game as well as our inside game.”
“She’s the best post player we have right now,” said junior guard Blanca Millan, adding that Wadling can score any number of ways, including drives to the basket, off a post move or an outside jumper. “She works really hard on her game, and she came back really strong.”
“I had trouble lifting heavy weights last season because of my back,” Wadling said. “But I was able to lift heavy weights this summer, and it made me a lot stronger.”
“She is in great shape. She is really tough to guard,” Vachon said. “Teams focus on Tanesha [Sutton], Blanca and, to some extent, Dor [Saar] so [they] have to leave someone open, and Fanny has embraced that.”
Millan had a game-high 23 points in the win over Bryant to go with nine rebounds, three blocked shots, two assists and two steals. Sutton had 17 points and five rebounds along with three steals, and Saar had five points and five assists.
Sydney Holloway’s 16 points and 14 rebounds paced 2-1 Bryant. Stephanie Lesko had 13 points and Kierra Palmer had 11 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.
The Black Bears are looking forward to the Duke game especially with Brunswick native Palombo-McCallie returning to Maine.
“She did a lot of good things when she was here. It’s going to be fun,” McVicar said.
“It’s going to be exciting,” Wadling said.
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