Amy Vachon has quietly, efficiently, done her job as the point guard for the University of Maine women’s basketball team.
Recently, the sophomore from Augusta has thrust herself into a more visible role.
On Sunday, Vachon scored 13 points, handed out 11 assists and made three steals in Maine’s win over Delaware. In Friday’s victory against Towson, Vachon swished four 3-pointers en route to 16 points and added seven assists, seven rebounds and three steals.
The Black Bears hope Vachon continues her surge when Maine begins a three-game road trip with Thursday’s 7 p.m. America East game at Boston University.
“It’s nice to see Amy starting to take more shots and look more offensive-minded,” said assistant coach Jody Benner, filling in for coach Joanne Palombo-McCallie, who has been battling the flu.
“Amy is the epitome of a team player,” Benner added. “She’s always looking to make sure that we move the ball, get ball reversal, let everybody touch the ball and make the defense react. I think she’s made that such a priority that she stopped looking for her offense. Now, she’s really picked it up.”
Backcourt mate Cindy Blodgett stressed the importance of Vachon providing an offensive presence.
“She’s quite capable of hitting 3’s and taking it to the hole like she has the last couple of games,” Blodgett said.
“That really helps out the other guards, because [opponents] really have to worry about her as an offensive threat. She’s also getting the ball and making good decisions, too, like she always does.”
Vachon, a prolific scorer in her days at Cony High School, realizes she must find the perfect balance between her floor generalship and her offensive urges.
“That’s definitely my role, to get people in the right places and get the ball to them, and play defense,” Vachon said. “But I also can’t go away from looking to score, because I can’t let teams say, `well, she’s not going to shoot,’ because they might take advantage of that.”
Vachon also has played a pivotal role in Maine’s defensive schemes. The tireless hustler is responsible for applying full-court pressure and is averaging 2.4 steals.
In spite of the many demands, Vachon has displayed tremendoulogging 30.6 minutes per contest.
Delaware coach Tina Martin is among the observers who appreciate how well Vachon complements Blodgett.
“Vachon is very steady, whereas Cindy has a little bit more of the flair to her game,” Martin said.
“Vachon makes the right reads, gets the ball to the people she needs to get the ball to,” she added.
Maine’s playmaker has set up her teammates to the tune of 7.1 assists per game, which leads the league and ranks fifth in the nation. If the Bears advance to the NCAA Tournament and Vachon continues at her present pace, she could eclipse single-season school and league assist records.
Vachon has 141 assists and needs 51 to surpass Julie Treadwell, who set the UMaine mark with 191 during the 1983-84 season. Andrea Higgins of Boston University holds the conference record of 191 established in 1992-93.
Treadwell’s effort came the year before Maine joined the former Seaboard Conference.