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Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2:13 p.m.

Xavier Pollard leading the Black Bears to the next level

The University of Maine men’s basketball team won two of their last three games and improved to 2-5 after starting 0-4 to start the season.

Sophomore guard Xavier Pollard’s play is a big reason for the recent wins. Pollard is coming off his best performance ever as a Black Bear last week.

“The season’s going well, we’re really improving and we have to keep working hard and focus on the future,” Pollard said.

The Black Bears most recently lost to Duquesne University 87-73 to snap their two-game winning streak. Pollard recorded 17 points and five assists and limited himself to just three turnovers, breaking his previous career high in points at 15 that he got just two games before.

In the two wins the Black Bears have posted, Pollard has played an important role in getting the victories.

In the 72-66 win against Siena College, Pollard put up his then career high of 15 points and also had a career high of 12 assists, turning the ball over only twice.

“It felt good,” Pollard said of the game. “I didn’t even know I had that many until after the game.”

The Black Bears got a huge win at Northeastern University, by a score of 76-73. Pollard posted eight points and seven assists in the win.

“It was a hard-fought battle and a good one to get after losing a couple of close ones earlier in the year. It’s a great feeling,” Pollard said of the win.

However, Pollard isn’t satisfied with the wins. He thinks his team has what it takes to go all the way to an America East victory.

“I think we have the potential and talent to win America East,” Pollard said. “I just need to be the best point guard I can be to help in that.”

Pollard attributes his success to a couple different people.

“My family, especially my father,” he said. “A lot of coaches have helped me too, though. They all contributed to my improvement.”

The Black Bears play at home against Fisher College in their next game before three-straight games on the road. They’ll have their work cut out for them, playing at Florida State University to start the trip.

“We could still improve in every area, definitely taking care of the ball. If we keep our turnovers low, we’ll definitely have a better chance to win each game,” Pollard said. “We’ve been a team and stayed together and have each other’s back.”

Pollard isn’t satisfied with his individual success yet and thinks there is much he needs to improve.

“I have to get better at everything, especially taking care of the ball more,” he said. “I think I’ve been a good leader and have been making sure everyone’s on the same page out there,” Pollard said.

The Black Bears will play Fisher College Dec. 6 at the Memorial Gym at 7 p.m.