The University of Maine Men’s Basketball team played two games this week. The team pulled out a double OT win at home over 7-2 Fordham University, as well as being defeated on the road by Dartmouth College. This win would be the first of the season for Maine giving them a record of 1-9. Despite their poor record, it was just about time. With the team having two other games being pushed into overtime.
Maine played Fordham Tuesday, Dec. 4, in a game that started out looking like another loss for Maine. The Rams came firing out of the gate, scoring 17 points to Maine’s six just over five minutes into the game. Maine’s third-year forward Andrew Fleming, attempting to lift his team out of their deficit, scored 18 of the Black Bears 23 first quarter points. Fleming was perfect beyond the arc, draining three shots, and went 7-8 on his field goal attempts. The remaining five points scored by Maine in the first half belonged to third-year guard Isaiah White. This strong effort on offense, as well as an increased focus on defense, sent both teams into the locker room with Fordham holding the lead 24-23.
Maine’s shooting prowess continued into the second half, however their turnover rate continued to heighten as well, allowing Fordham to keep pace. As the half progressed, the Black Bears started to move ahead of the Rams. Fleming was able to score another 11 points this half, giving him 29 points on the night. Second-year forward Vilgot Larsson scored eight points in the half as well. Maine managed to keep a constant lead for the final 10 minutes of the game, until White fouled Rams’ first-year guard Jalen Cobb. Cobb went to the line for his two shots with three seconds on the clock, attempting to close Maine’s 55-53 lead. Draining both buckets, Cobb sent the contest into its first over time.
Third year guard Sergio El Darwich and third-year center Vincent Eze carried the offensive effort for Maine in over time. Down by one with 10 seconds left, Eze was sent to the line for a pair of free throw attempts. Eze, unable to make the first basket, tied the game by sinking his second attempt. With their potential first victory on the line, Maine headed into double overtime. Foul shooting, which sent the game into both of its over time periods, eventually won the game for Maine, as they brought home their first victory of the season by a final score 75-68.
Maine traveled to Hanover, New Hampshire to face off against the Dartmouth Big Green. The Black Bears weren’t able to find their shot in the first half, going a collective 11-28 from the field and 2-11 from beyond the arc. The Big Green were more accurate, shooting 16-28 from the field and 5-8 from beyond the arc, allowing them to take the 41-27 lead heading into the half.
The second half reflected the first. With both looking like an even matchup to start, and slowly turning into a game dominated by the Big Green’s Offense. Despite three Black Bears scoring in the double digits (White 18, Fleming 10, and Larsson 10), the Black Bears weren’t able to pull together defensively, allowing 37 points in the second half. Both teams locked down their defenses for the final two minutes, and Big Green sent the Black Bears home with a final score of 52-78.
The next game will be played at the Cross Insurance Center Arena on Monday, Dec. 10. Maine will face off against the University of Maine at Machias. After that Maine will go back on the road to play Duquesne University in Pittsburgh on Sunday, Dec. 16.