Record-setting point guard Cindy Blodgett continues to establish new standards with her play for the University of Maine women’s basketball this season.
Blodgett, who leads America East with 24.6 points per game, soon will reach the 2,000-point career scoring plateau faster than any player – male or female – in league history.
The junior from Clinton has pushed her career total to 1,958 points and likely will eclipse the 2,000 mark in Saturday’s game at Vermont. The late Reggie Lewis reached 2,000 points fastest, so far, doing so in the final game of his junior season at Northeastern.
Blodgett should go over 2,000 in her 83rd career game. It took Lewis 92 contests. Only 12 America East players, including five women, have accomplished the feat.
At UMaine, only Rachel Bouchard (2,405 points) and Liz Coffin (2,153) have scored more points than Blodgett. Barring injuries, Blodgett should become the school’s all-time leading scorer early in the 1997-98 season.
Blodgett was honored prior to Sunday’s America East game against Hofstra for winning last year’s NCAA Division I scoring title.
Blodgett averaged 27.8 points per game last season. In the process, she set an NCAA sophomore season scoring record with 889 points.
University of Maine President Frederick Hutchinson presented Blodgett with a plaque sent by the NCAA. A season-high crowd of 5,632 fans attended the contest, including a large contingent of Blodgett boosters from the Fairfield-Clinton area.
The UMaine women’s basketball team has lined up another challenging non-conference schedule for 1997-98, including a season-opening game at Connecticut.
UConn, which is undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the country, has emerged as one of the nation’s top programs. The Black Bears and the Huskies haven’t met since UConn posted a 105-75 victory over Maine in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 1995.
Connecticut is one of four teams currently ranked in the Top 25 that appear on next season’s Maine schedule. The Bears also have booked dates with third-ranked Stanford, No. 16 Wisconsin, and No. 24 Western Kentucky.
The Badgers are penciled in to play in next season’s Dead River Co. Classic, while the Cardinal will make the trek to Orono for a Dec. 7 contest.
The Western Kentucky contest is somewhat unusual in that it will be played Jan. 29. Normally, the last two months of the season have been reserved exclusively for America East games.
University of Maine athletics benefactor Larry Mahaney was the honoree prior to Friday night’s Maine-Drexel women’s basketball game at Alfond Arena.
Mahaney, an avid supporter of Black Bear baseball over the yrecognized with the presentation of an oil painting done by Jack Havey of Winthrop. The large, smiling likeness of Mahaney will hang permanently in Mahaney Clubhouse on the UMaine campus.
Coach Jim Graffam’s University of Maine-Fort Kent men’s basketball team has been ranked No. 7 in the nation in the National Small College Athletic Association. The NSCAA includes schools that have fewer than 1,000 full-time students.
The 12-5 Bengals also have a nationally ranked player in Neptune Cardona. The senior guard from Perth Amboy, N.J., is fourth in assists with a 6.3 average.
UMFK is hoping to earn a berth in the Feb. 21-22 NSCAA regional tournament. The nationals are slated March 3-8 in Salinas, Kan.
Gladys Ganiel of Providence College, a track and field performer from Harrington, is being evaluated for an injury that forced her to miss last weekend’s Terrier Classic in Boston.
Ganiel, a sophomore, is experiencing pain in her knee and foot. She had planned to run a 5K last weekend, but was forced to sit it out.
“I’m hoping it’s tendinitis in my knee and in my foot, but no one seems to know,” said the former Narraguagus High three-sport standout.
Ganiel hopes to be ready for the Big East Championship in less than three weeks.