BANGOR — The text messages from her father have become a family joke, Liz Wood said.

Before each of her basketball games at Maine, Larry Wood would send a reminder of the one milestone that had somehow eluded her.

“You know, 30 points is only 10 3s,” Liz Wood said with a laugh Thursday, recounting her fathers’ pregame logic.

Wood is the all-time top scorer at Liberty High back home in Catlett, Virginia. But she never got 30 points in a game.

Until Thursday. The Black Bears’ junior forward took over early in a 74-46 rout of Vermont at the Cross Insurance Center.

By the time she was pulled with six minutes left, she had her 30 and was looking forward to a postgame chat with her dad.

“My dad has always wanted me to score 30 points ever since I’ve been playing basketball,” Wood said. “I’m happy I could do that for him tonight. He just turned 60 (on Jan. 14) so maybe it’s a late birthday present for him, too.”

Wood became the first Maine player to score 30 points in a game since Ashley Underwood on Feb. 7, 2007.

And the Black Bears needed her scoring in the first half in particular. Wood sank a pair of 3-pointers followed by two layups for 10 quick points as Maine took the lead for good at 14-7. She hit another pair of 3-pointers late in the half to push the lead to 32-17.

Wood had 21 points in the first half, making 5-of-8 3-pointers. Her teammates were just 1 of 14 from that distance.

“Early on in the game, especially, I was a little hesitant to take shots and then I realized that I’m going to get good shots. I’m just going to be confident in taking those,” Wood said. “Once I started doing that, I started knocking them down, and it just grew from there. I just got into a groove and carried that into the half. My teammates did a good job of finding me, especially moving the ball quickly against the zone.”

In the second half, Maine started finding Wood in the post more and everyone shot better. The Black Bears (13-6, 5-1 America East) won for the fifth consecutive time, finishing with their most points this season and their biggest margin of victory. They shot 53.6 percent in the second half.

Wood made a pair of free throws to set a career high with 27 points and stuck around long enough to get the layup that gave her 30.

“It was just there. We weren’t running anything for her. It was just her scoring in our offense,” Coach Richard Barron said. “This was a game where, with the matchup she had, I think she could have kept scoring if we’d asked her to. And we could have forced it to her and got her more attempts. What was great about it is it was completely natural.”

Vermont (3-15, 0-6) was led by eight points from York native Niki Taylor, a senior, leaving her two short of 1,000 for her Catamounts career.

But the night belonged to Wood, the only player for either team to reach double figures in scoring. She benefited from excellent passing and ballhandling. Maine had 23 assists on its 27 made baskets and committed only five turnovers.

So the next milestone is 40 points?

Wood didn’t want to aim that high.

“Let’s go for 31,” she said, which happens to be her uniform number. “Take it one step at a time.”