First-year star forward Devine Eke put on a show, posting a career night on Wednesday by netting 29 points and hauling in 16 rebounds at home against Army in Maine’s 84-71 loss. It was a high-tempo and fast-paced game throughout the entire contest.
Maine lost this game for themselves in the first half; they were caught sleeping, getting outscored 50-29. The Black Bears allowed Army to shoot the lights out of the ball from beyond the arc in the first half, conceding 8-of-17 shooting from downtown. Not only could Maine not stop the three-ball, they couldn’t prevent Army on the block either, allowing them to shoot a total of 51 percent off of 20-for-39 shooting. Army’s defense also gave the Black Bears more trouble than they could handle in the first half, forcing 12 turnovers, thus allowing Army to dominate the ball and game flow.
Despite getting blown out in the opening half, there was no shortage of effort or commitment from the Black Bears in the second half. Maine came out of the gates firing in the second and outscored Army 42-34. The Black Bears shot an effective 40 percent from the field on 18-of-45 shooting, and held Army to just 35 percent on 12-of-35 shooting. Maine started changing up their lineup and finally found success down low as they outrebounded Army 28-21 in the final stanza. The Black Bears were much more disciplined with the ball in the second half as well, only committing four turnovers. Though Maine played spectacularly in the second half play it was too little, too late for them to accumulate any type of comeback in the game.
Third-year forward Kennedy Edwards was the top performer for the Black Knights coming off the bench and putting up 21 points and five rebounds. Fourth-year guard Kyle Wilson added 17 points and four rebounds.
Second-year guard Kevin Little wasn’t at his best on Wednesday night, but was still able to contribute 16 points, five rebounds and four assists. He also made an impressive steal towards the end of the game and delivered a perfect pass in stride to Eke for a thunderous alley-oop to cap off a 16-4 Maine run that cut the lead from 23 to 11 with just under three minutes left on the clock. First-year guard Ryan Bernstein was extremely electric coming off the bench providing the spark the Black Bears needed, dropping a career-high 11 points on 5-of-11 shooting.
Eke was the real deal for Head Coach Bob Walsh and the Black Bears, putting his talent on full display Wednesday night. Eke shot 14-for-18 from the field for the game-high 29 points and collected the game-high 16 boards. Though he came off the bench, he played a team-high 30 minutes and most likely earned himself the start from here on out.
“Our coach Zach told me in the beginning of the game they couldn’t keep up with my feet or athleticism so I used that to my advantage tonight,” Eke said.
Walsh wasn’t pleased with his team’s overall effort after the game. “We were thoroughly outplayed, we were outcompeted which is really disappointing. We were playing a really good team tonight, they competed with an edge from the beginning and we didn’t. To get outcompeted is disappointing because we stress it in practice and reward effort with playing time,” Walsh said.
Maine travels to Milwaukee next to take on one of their toughest opponents of the season, Marquette. Tip-off is set for 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5.
Marquette routs Maine
The University of Maine men’s basketball team traveled to Milwaukee to take on Marquette University Saturday afternoon and dropped the decision 104-67. Maine falls to 2-5 on the season after the blowout loss and Marquette improves to 6-2.
First-year forward Devine Eke was the lone bright spot for Maine, shining again as he led the way for the Black Bears with 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting while grabbing 7 rebounds. Second-year guard Kevin Little put on 15 points and three assists. First-year guards Ryan Bernstein and Lavar Harewood both finished in double digits with 10 apiece.
First-year forward Henry Ellenson stole the show for Marquette leading all scorers with 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting and four rebounds. Third-year center Luke Fischer also played a great game for Marquette contributing 21 points on 10-for-12 shooting and hauled in a team leading 7 rebounds. First-year guard Haanif Cheatham chipped in with 17 points, four rebounds and three helpers.
Maine let this game get out of hand early as they came out of the gates way too slow and surrendered a 22-0 run to open up the game in the first 5 minutes. Marquette got ahead and never looked back. Maine couldn’t defend anyone in the first half and Marquette shot an impeccable 65 percent in the first half on 25-for-38 shooting from the field en route to their 61-29 halftime lead. The Black Bears stood no chance of keeping up with Marquette as they shot a dismal 27 percent on 11-for-40 shooting in the opening half. They were also out rebounded 31-15 in the half giving them limited possession.
The Black Bears came out looking much better in the second half. They looked more respectable getting outscored by just five points, 43-38 in the second half. Maine shot a much-improved 40 percent from the field on 13-for-32 shooting from the field in the final stanza. However they still couldn’t find a way to stop Marquette’s offense and allowed them to shoot 55 percent from the field on 15-for-27 shooting. Maine started off the half on a nice 10-4 run thanks to back-to-back three pointers from Little but couldn’t get anything going aside from that. Unfortunately for Maine, they were never able to come back enough to make a game out of it and Marquette was in cruise control all the way to the final buzzer.
Maine looks to get back on track and in the win column when they return to action at home on Dec. 9 when they play host to an Ivy League opponent in Dartmouth at 7 p.m. Dartmouth comes into Maine at 2-3 on the season.