Cindy Blodgett has led the NCAA Division I ranks in scoring each of the last two seasons.
The senior from Clinton was No. 2 in the nation this week, averaging 27.9 points per game through nine games before aggravating a foot injury two weeks ago.
As of today, the University of Maine’s dynamic guard will no longer be ranked among the America East or national scoring leaders – at least temporarily.
Coach Joanne Palombo-McCallie said Friday that Blodgett will not play in today’s America East game at New Hampshire. It marks the fourth consecutive game she has missed after playing 101 straight at UMaine.
“Cindy’s doing very well and went through shooting practice [Thursday] and really felt good,” Palombo said Friday. “We’re just following doctor’s orders.”
Blodgett is out of the running for now because the NCAA requires a player to have competed in 75 percent of her team’s games to be considered for national statistics.
After today, Blodgett will have played in nine of the Bears’ 13 contests, 69 percent of the schedule. In the long run, Blodgett may still have a shot at the scoring title.
Blodgett continues to undergo rehabiliation for plantar fasciitis in her left foot. The condition is a painful inflammation of the connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel to the base of the toes.
Blodgett has now been sidelined for two weeks after aggravating the injury during Maine’s 80-58 victory over Boston University on Jan. 2 in Orono. The Bears are 4-0 without Blodgett, but have struggled at times.
“We definitely miss the many things she brings to our team,” Palombo said. “We miss her confidence and intensity, her creativity, and her defensive savvy.”
Palombo stressed team doctors are encouraged by Blodgett’s progress, but want to make sure she gets ample rest and rehabilitation before allowing her to come back.
“She could play, but she hasn’t been through a full practice,” Palombo said. “Our goal is to get her through full practices starting Monday.”
If Maine plays 29 games, which would mean earning at least a spot in the America East championship game, Blodgett would have to play in 22 of those contests to achieve the minimum number of games played to be eligible for statistical consideration.
That means she could miss only three more games after today to retain a shot at winning an unprecedented third consecutive scoring crown. Blodgett could miss four more if Maine gets back to the NCAAs.
However, Blodgett has often downplayed any of her statistical accomplishments. Her ultimate goal is to lead Maine as far as it can go in the NCAA Tournament.
UMaine men’s basketball coach John Giannini announced Friday that junior Mickey Fein has left the team to concentrate on offseason workouts with the football team.
The 6-foot-2 Fein, the starting quarterback for the Black Bears, joined the basketball squad in late November. He played in 13 games as a gubasketball squad in late November. He played in 13 games as a guard-forward, averaging 2.7 points and 2.2 rebounds in 15.4 minutes per outing.
Prior to attending UMaine, Fein set the career scoring record with more than 1,400 points at Barnstable High School in Centerville, Mass. However, he shot only 28 percent from the field for the Bears this season.
The University of Maine-Presque Isle has announced it will add women’s volleyball to its list of varsity sports.
Athletic director Jack Daniels said the team will play a limited schedule in 1998, then pick up a full slate of games for 1999.
“Volleyball is now a varsity sport at many high schools in the state and this will give the women a chance to continue at the intercollegiate level,” explained Daniels, who said the search for a coach is under way.
UMPI, a member of the Maine Athletic Conference, offers 10 sports, including men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, and cross country, along with baseball, softball, and golf.
Ryan Martin of St. Joseph’s College in Standish may miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury.
Martin, a 6-1 sophomore guard from Fort Kent, dislocated his shoulder in Wednesday’s victory over the University of New England. He was averaging 8.0 points while shooting 52.8 percent from the field for the 12-2 Monks, who are ranked No. 24 in the nation.
St. Joseph’s has been plagued by injuries of late as starting center Lynn Campbell (10.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg) has been out since a car accident two weeks ago. Starter Rob Sanicola is expected to miss the next two weeks with a badly sprained ankle.