The University of Maine men’s basketball team suffered their second loss of a young season on the road against the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds on Thursday night by a score of 84-79.
It was a closely contested battle from the opening tip to the final buzzer. LIU Brooklyn got off to a quick start leading by six through the first quarter, 28-22. Maine battled back with a 10-2 run to push the Black Bears ahead 32-30 with less than five minutes to play in the opening half.
It was knotted up 39-39 with 20 seconds remaining in the first half until fourth-year center Till Gloger lifted Maine with a floater in the lane over two Blackbird defenders, sending the Black Bears into the break with a two point lead.
The back-and-forth action continued in the second half with the Black Bears on top 55-54 with 12 minutes left to play. The Black Bears would surrender a costly 11-2 run over the course of five minutes, giving LIU Brooklyn a 65-57 lead. Second-year guard Kevin Little scored five straight points, ultimately driving a big 10-3 run for Maine and cutting the Blackbirds lead to just one with four minutes to play. That was as close as the Black Bears would get as they ended up giving up another late run to LIU Brooklyn, which sealed the Blackbirds victory 84-79.
LIU Brooklyn was guided to victory by the play of third-year forward Jerome Frink and second-year guard Martin Hermannsson. Maine could not find an answer defensively for either of them all game long. Frink was the top performer of the game, going off for 25 points on 9-for-11 shooting and nine rebounds, his size and poise on the block was too much to for Maine to handle. Hermannsson filled up the stat sheet as well scoring 23 points to go with two assists and two steals.
Maine had a very well spread out offense with four double-digit scorers. The scoring was led by second-year guard Aaron Calixte dropping a career high 18 points, while shooting 7-for-9 from the field and an efficient 2-for-3 from three-point land. Little wasn’t his usual self shooting the ball on Thursday, contributing 15 points on a disappointing 6-for-21 shooting display to go with five assists. First-year forward Devine Eke played extremely well coming off the bench for the Black Bears with a double-double, totaling 14 points and 12 rebounds. Fellow first-year forward Isaac Vann also chipped in 11 points respectively.
Wagner outlasts maine in 87-73 victory
The University of Maine men’s basketball team lost to the Wagner Seahawks 87-73 on the road Saturday afternoon despite getting a monster performance from first-year standout forward Isaac Vann. Vann recorded a double-double by scoring a team leading 28 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the field and 11 rebounds.
The game was tightly contested through the first half of play. Maine was barely losing at halftime by the score of 44-41. The Black Bears were pushing chaos on the defensive end early on, applying tight on ball pressure and swarming the Seahawks ball handlers, forcing 11 first half turnovers. Maine was extra aggressive out of the gates by driving the ball at will and getting to the free-throw line 17 times converting on 14 of the attempts. They also hauled in 17 rebounds, as opposed to the second half where the Black Bears only grabbed 12.
Maine ran out of gas down the stretch and allowed the Seahawks to run away with the victory. The Black Bears were outscored 43-32 in the second half and had defensive communication issues and lacked the amount of fight and toughness that they needed to win.
Maine was able to keep everyone on Wagner in check besides for second-year guard Corey Henson. Henson scored 24 points on 5-for-12 shooting and distributed the ball well adding seven assists. He was in attack mode all game, and got himself to the free-throw line 11 times and took advantage of each opportunity, shooting a perfect 11-for-11 from the charity stripe. Henson was especially clutch down the stretch for the Seahawks scoring 17 of his 24 points in the second half. His ability to handle the ball so well, drive the lane and pull up from anywhere made him a nightmare for the Black Bears on the defensive end. There was no solution for solving how to defend Henson’s game and he was ultimately the reason for the Wagner victory.
There were other positives to take out of the game aside from Vann’s standout performance. First-year guard Lavar Harewood was extremely effective in his first game, getting a lot of minutes for Maine. Harewood scored 14 points on 4-for-11 shooting, six rebounds and two steals in 21 minutes of action. First-year forward Devine Eke also chipped in with nine points, two rebounds and three steals.
After the loss, Maine drops to 0-3 on the young season and Wagner improves to 1-2.
Maine will finally get to play their home opener on Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 2:30 p.m. The Black Bears will play host to Longwood Lancers as a part of a men and women’s doubleheader. Longwood comes into Maine at 2-3 overall, but also on a three game losing streak that the Black Bears will look to take advantage of.