It’s been another great season for the University of Maine women’s basketball team. The Black Bears are 22-7 on the season and 15-1 in America East play after a 67-60 victory over Binghamton on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, Maine captured its second straight America East regular-season title. On the resume for the Black Bears this season is an 85-73 win over North Carolina and a 63-66 loss to #20 Duke. Maine enters the America East Tournament on an 11-game winning streak.
It’s been a balanced scoring attack for the Black Bears, with a trio of players average 10 or more points per game. Blanca Millan leads the team in scoring with 17.6 points per contest. Tanesha Sutton is adding 14.1 points per game. Senior Parise Rossignol of Van Buren is chipping in with 11.4 points per game.
If you’re at all familiar with basketball in the state of Maine, Rossignol is a pretty famous last name. Her father, Matt, is a legend in the state of Maine. He ranks 11th on UMaine’s all-time scoring list with 1,297 points and was inducted into the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. Parise led the state of Maine in scoring four straight years while in high school at Van Buren.
Parise saw action in 19 and 12 games in her freshman and sophomore seasons, respectively. Following the 2015-16 season, UMaine announced that Parise had decided to give up her basketball career. I was sad as in my brief interactions with her I quickly learned that there are few people with as much integrity as Parise possesses. She truly lives out her faith in God every single day.
Fast forward a little over a year later and I was elated when I heard that Parise had decided to rejoin the basketball team. I really hoped that it would work out for her and has it ever. Last season, Parise was named the 2018 America East Sixth Player of the Year. In addition, she earned a spot on the 2018 America East All-Tournament team as Maine won the America East Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Earlier this season, she set the UMaine record for three-point field goals in a game with eight. She finished the game with a career-high 32 points on 12-of-19 shooting from the floor. She connected on eight of 11 three-pointers. Following her record-setting performance, she took home America East Player of the Week honors on Feb. 4.
Not every story had such a storybook ending. I am thrilled the way it has worked out for Parise. Maine opens America East Tournament play on Wednesday against New Hampshire as they look to defend their conference title and return to the NCAA Tournament. I wish Parise and the Black Bears nothing but the best of luck in the tournament.