University of Maine fifth-year senior guard Blanca Millan entered Tuesday afternoon’s America East opener against the University of Hartford as the nation’s 10th-leading scorer, averaging 25.3 points per game.
That average is now up to 27.25 points per game after pouring in 33 points for the second straight game to lead the Black Bears to an 85-57 victory over the Hawks at Chase Arena in West Hartford, Connecticut.
It was Hartford’s first game and the Hawks are coming off a 1-28 campaign a year ago.
The teams will play again on Wednesday at 1 p.m.
UMaine has won the last five meetings between the two and nine of the last 10 games in West Hartford.
Millan, who shot 11-for-19 (57.9 percent) from the floor including a four-for-eight showing beyond the 3-point arc, also hauled down 10 rebounds, dished out three assists and made two steals over 31 minutes. It was the third time this season she has scored at least 30 points.
Millan was the America East Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year during the 2018-19 season but suffered a season-ending knee injury in the sixth game last season.
Senior point guard Dor Saar chipped in with 24 points and a game-high nine assists. She shot 57.1 percent from the floor and nailed six of her 10 threes. Saar also had three rebounds.
She eclipsed the 200 mark for 3-pointers in her career.
Sophomore guard Anne Simon, the reigning America East Rookie of the Year and a second team all-league choice last season, contributed 13 points, a game-high 11 rebounds and three assists.
Freshman guard Alba Orois had eight points and fifth-year senior forward Fanny Wadling produced four rebounds, three assists and two points in her second game back after missing all of last year with a concussion and the first two games this season with a minor lower body injury.
Freshman Paula Maurina paced Hartford with 12 points and four rebounds in her first collegiate game. Junior Jordan McLemore collected 10 points and two assists, junior Jada Lucas had nine points, three rebounds and two assists and Western Michigan University transfer Nina Farkic registered seven points, six rebounds and five assists.
UMaine used a 10-5 run to close out the first quarter and a 21-8 second-quarter edge to build a 42-22 lead at the intermission.
“I was really proud of our team,” said UMaine coach Amy Vachon. “We shot the ball really well and we did a lot of good things defensively in the first half.”
UMaine wound up shooting 48.4 percent from the floor and had a 20-2 edge in fast break points. The Black Bears also outscored Hartford 26-8 in points off turnovers.
Vachon added that Millan is playing at a “very high level right now” and she and Saar have been critical to the team’s success.
“Dor is Dor. She has really worked hard on her shot,” Vachon said.
Hartford second-year head coach Morgan Valley, who has seven newcomers on this year’s roster, said she was impressed with UMaine.
“They’re a really good team. They play a beautiful style of basketball and they’re very well-coached,” Valley said.