BANGOR —University of Maine women’s basketball coach Amy Vachon answered the question on the mind of every Black Bear fan who saw Blanca Millan’s head hit the Cross Center court Sunday afternoon.

“Blanca’s fine,” Vachon said after Maine’s 62-49 loss to Boston University.

Maine played without Millan, the reigning America East Player and Defensive Player of the Year, for most of the first three quarters. Millan was injured playing her typical aggressive style of defense, 47 seconds into the game. Millan leapt to make a steal, and fell to the court in the act of saving the ball into the front court to Dor Saar for a layup. Millan lay on the court for a moment, and was helped off by Maine training staff, holding a towel to cut on her forehead.

Millan returned in the final minute of the third quarter, a bandage covering stitches over her right eye, and played throughout the fourth. Millan finished with 10 points in just under 12 minutes of play, and her extended absence highlighted the Black Bears inexperience and lack of depth.

Maine is now 1-2, while Boston University, led by Lawrence High grad Nia Irving’s 20 points, improved to 2-1.

“Everybody on the outside looks and says, they’re not what they were last year. No, we’re not. We have a lot of young kids, but we’re going to be good. We’re going to be OK,” Vachon said. “Honestly, I loved how we competed. We worked hard. I love how hard we played. Did we make mistakes? Yeah, we did. I told our kids in the locker room, we’re going to be OK if you give that effort every day. We’ll be where we want to be.”


With 6-foot-1 forward Fanny Wadling missing her third consecutive game due to an injury suffered during Maine’s exhibition game with McGill, the Terriers knew they had an advantage in the paint, and they exploited it. BU had 28 points in the paint to Maine’s 16, and the Terriers outrebounded the Black Bears, 35-20.

“We knew we had a big size advantage on them, so exploiting that, we knew we’d be able to go into our post play,”Irving, who grabbed nine rebounds and absorbed four offensive fouls to go with her 20 points, said.

Added BU coach Marisa Moseley: “I think we probably didn’t take advantage of it as much as I’d like to. We have to continue to work on our high-low passing a little more.”

The Terriers led 24-18 at the half, and pushed their lead to double digits in the third quarter.

“We did a nice job putting together a really strong third quarter, which has become a little bit of a signature for us,” Moseley said.

With Millan out for much of the game, point guard Dor Saar took on the offensive load for the Black Bears. Saar scored a career-high 21 points, including all 11 of Maine’s first quarter points. Saar was 6 for 10 from 3-point range.


“Dor had a rough game Monday night (a 76-70 overtime loss at Brown). I thought she had a great week of practice and I thought she had a good game. It’s nice to see her shot get back,” Vachon said.

The Black Bears left the Cross Center and went straight to the airport to fly to Raleigh, North Carolina for Tuesday morning’s game against North Carolina State. This will be Maine’s third game in just over a year against the nationally-ranked Wolfpack. Maine played NC State twice last season, including a loss in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Once again, the Black Bears will be without Wadling, who Vachon said will not play.

“They are really good. I think at the end of the year they’ll be top five in the country,” Vachon said of the Wolfpack. “We’re going to go down and play hard. We know what it’s like playing there. This is our third time in a year.”

Katie Nelson added 13 points for the Terriers.


Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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