The University of Maine men’s basketball team beat Northeastern University 76-73 Wednesday night at the Matthews Arena behind a career-high 30 points from sophomore guard Justin Edwards.
The Black Bears played again Saturday at the A.J. Palumbo Center against Duquesne University. Despite 19 points and eight assists from Edwards, UMaine lost 87-73, dropping their record to 2-5 on the season.
Northeastern and UMaine played a tight game throughout the first half until a late run gave the Huskies a 40-35 halftime lead. Northeastern got out to a seven-point lead to open the second half, but the game was soon tied with a couple of buckets by Edwards and junior forward Alasdair Fraser and a 3-pointer from junior forward Jon Mesghna.
Edwards’ career night would be fueled by deadly accurate shooting, as the sophomore hit 11 of 12 shots from the field, seven of 10 free throws — good for his 30 points — and chipped in five rebounds. Mesghna also shot well, hitting three of five 3s, good for nine points, and grabbed six rebounds. Fraser did his usual damage in the post, adding 20 points and five rebounds.
The Black Bears shot an unbelievable 76.2 percent from the floor in the second half and finished at 59.2 percent for the game. The Huskies finished 41 percent from the field.
UMaine went on a 10-2 run, with four points from both Edwards and Fraser, to take a 67-59 lead with just over 7 minutes left. The Huskies would have a late run in them, as they cut the lead to 73-69 with 2 minutes left. Edwards knocked down one of two free throws before the Huskies responded with a 3, making it a two-point game with just over a minute remaining.
On the ensuing possession after a made free throw, Northeastern tied up a UMaine player, forcing a jump ball. The Huskies would eventually steal the ball, but it was stolen back by sophomore guard Xavier Pollard who found Edwards for an easy layin with 20 seconds left. A last-second 3 by the Huskies would bounce out as they fell to 4-3.
Black Bears fall at Duquesne
The Black Bears played a hard fought game against Duquesne Saturday, finding themselves in a tie at 37 by the half. The Dukes would take a 61-56 edge halfway through the second half, but five straight points from Edwards tied the game at 61 with just under 10 minutes remaining.
The teams traded baskets, but a late 7-2 run by the Dukes put the game out of reach for UMaine. Fraser finished with 14 points and eight rebounds and Pollard continued his stellar play, adding 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
The win improves the Dukes to 4-3.
UMaine will resume play Dec. 6 in the Memorial Gym against Fisher College before traveling to Florida State University Dec. 9 for a game that will be televised by ESPN U.