Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans Blanca Millan (22) is honored for scoring her 1,000th point with University of Maine head coach Amy Vachon during a ceremony Saturday before their game against Brown University at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

BANGOR — What’s it like, watching your greatest hits on a giant video screen in front of 2,000 people? University of Maine junior Blanca Millan knows. She experienced that moment of surreal accomplishment Saturday afternoon at the Cross Insurance Center, right before she and the Black Bears played Brown University.

On Tuesday, Millan scored her 1,000th career point in a 67-60 win at Harvard. She joined Maine head coach Amy Vachon at midcourt before Saturday’s game to accept the ball with which she hit the 3-pointer to reach the milestone. Millan watched the highlight reel of her career at Maine, the Best of Blanca, and graciously waved to the crowd.

Then, Millan did what she does. She dominated just about every phase of the game, helping the Black Bears take a 102-96 overtime win from Brown.

“It’s really special to make it here (at Maine). I’ve said it, I wouldn’t make it without my teammates and my coaches. They push me every day. They make me work every day,” Millan said after the game, in which she scored 36 points, on 14 for 27 shooting (5 for 12 from 3-point range), grabbed seven rebounds, had six assists, five steals, and three blocks. “Watching that video, it’s three years here. With all the crowd, it was really special to me.”

Cherish this. In watching Millan, a native of Santiago de Composteda, Spain, we are watching the career of one of the great all-time Black Bears play out. Herself one of the all-time great Black Bears, Vachon knows.

“We’re watching something really special, and a really special player. I think the thing that sets Blanca apart is her defense,” Vachon said. “I don’t know of a kid who can score like Blanca can score and play defense. At least the teams we’ve played, there hasn’t been a kid like that.”

Millan earned her first blocked shot in the final minute of the first quarter. Brown’s Taylor Will made a steal, and raced down the court for a layup. Millan ran with her, swatting what could have been an easy basket away. Millan’s next two blocks came in the fourth quarter, as Maine was trying to hold off the Brown rally that sent the game to overtime.

Those are the little things that win games, the things coaches and teammates see when the fans stare wide-eyed at points and rebounds.

Maine’s Blanca Millan (22) battles for the ball with Brown’s Erika Steve (31) on Saturday at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

“She’s very coachable. She wants to be great. She’s willing to hear some hard things sometimes because she wants to be the best. After this game, as great as she played, I got on her a little bit for something else,” Vachon said, drawing a knowing laugh from Millan. “She knows it. She gets it. Most kids are like, heck I scored 36 points. Her teammates feed off that.”

With her career-high 36 points in Saturday’s 102-96 win over Brown, Millan averages 20.2 points per game this season. Her next point will move Millan alone into 19th-all time on Maine’s scoring list, a spot she now shares with Lisa Cormier. At her current scoring pace, Millan will easily crack the top 10 by season’s end. If she continues to improve, Millan has a shot at becoming the fifth member of Maine’s 2,000-point club next season, joining Cindy Blodgett (3,005 points), Rachel Bouchard (2,405), Jamie Cassidy (2,380) and Liz Coffin (2,153).

As a freshman, Millan made the America East conference all-rookie team. Last season, she was first team all-conference. This season, Millan is the favorite for conference player of the year. As the Black Bears improve, Millan gets better.

Keep watching. Enjoy it. The Best of Blanca is yet to come.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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