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Men’s basketball rebounds from Stony Brook to earn two conference wins

The Stony Brook Seawolves men’s basketball team made quick work of the University of Maine Monday night, hosting a struggling Black Bears squad that dropped the contest 81-54. With the victory, the Seawolves remain a perfect 7-0 in America East conference play, while the Black Bears drop to seventh place and move to 2-4 in conference action.

Stony Brook certainly played the part of division leaders, as they shot the basketball at an impressive rate from all over the floor. The Seawolves connected on 31-for-51 from the field for 61 percent shooting, while converting on 71 percent from beyond the arc on 10-of-14 shooting. Stony Brook outrebounded Maine 41-22, which gave the Seawolves plenty of second chance opportunities, as well as the ability to control the pace of play.

Maine’s offense was struggling to keep up with the sharp shooting of Stony Brook and could never get within striking distance. They consistently shot the ball poorly throughout the contest giving them no chance to keep it competitive against the Seawolves. The Black Bears shot a dismal 18-of-54 from the field, which was good for a lowly 33 percent shooting on the game.

Stony Brook got plenty of offensive production from multiple different players. Seawolves fourth-year guard Carson Puriefoy guided the Seawolves to victory and continuously posed matchup problems for the Black Bears defensively. Puriefoy led four double digit scorers for Stony Brook, dropping 23 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field with five of his made baskets coming from three-point land. 

Fourth-year forward Jameel Warney was a force to be reckoned with, chipping in a double-double for the Seawolves with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Third-year guard Lucas Woodhouse was also efficient offensively for Stony Brook, scoring 12 points along with a game-high seven assists. Fourth-year forward Rayshaun McGrew added 14 points as well.

First-year forward Devine Eke was the lone double digit scorer for Maine, with 11 points on 4-for-8 shooting. Fourth-year forward Till Gloger was extremely effective off the bench for the Black Bears, netting eight points on 4-of-7 shooting while hauling in four rebounds in only 12 minutes of action.

Black Bears top Hartford in overtime

The University of Maine men’s basketball team won a 105-100 overtime thriller on Wednesday night on the road against the Hartford Hawks. This tightly contested game was back and forth action from the opening tip until the final buzzer that featured 18 lead changes, and was tied up 13 different times throughout the contest.

Second-year guard Aaron Calixte and Gloger guided the Black Bears to victory on Wednesday night. Calixte scored 23 points to go with five assists and four rebounds. Gloger was effective coming off the bench scoring 22 points on 10-for-14 shooting and hauled in 9 rebounds. Eke recorded his third double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Black Bears. Second-year guard Kevin Little added 16 points.

Hartford’s third-year guard Pancake Thomas went off for the Hawks, filling up every category in the box score. Maine had no answers for Thomas, he dropped 29 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in his team’s loss. Third-year guard Evan Cooper chipped in 15 points off the bench.

It was a very evenly played first half with the two teams trading buckets at an identical rate. Maine was slightly ahead early on in the contest up by four half way through the first half until surrendering a 10-2 run to the Hawks that gave Hartford a small lead that they maintained the rest of the half. The first half ended with Hartford up 47-43 and neither team was able to separate themselves.

It took Maine a while to regain the lead in the second half. They kept putting short spurts of offensive runs together, cutting the Hartford lead to just one point on multiple occasions, but couldn’t seem to knot the score or take the lead. Maine eventually regained the lead with just under eight minutes left in the game thanks to a 6-0 run fueled by four consecutive free-throws by first-year forward Issac Vann that put the Black Bears on top 74-73. After the Black Bears regained this lead there was 10 lead changes throughout the final eight minutes of regulation and the game was destined for overtime.

In the overtime period Hartford came out of the gates extremely hot. The Hawks put on an 11-4 run in the opening 2:10 of the overtime and the game nearly looked out of reach for the Black Bears. Maine Head Coach Bob Walsh called a much needed, game changing timeout to get his guys back on track and it ended up saving the day for the Black Bears.

Following Walsh’s timeout the Black Bears came back and went on a game clinching 12-0 run. Little and fourth-year forward Shaun Lawton connected on clutch back-to-back 3-pointers. Third-year guard Troy Reid-Knight also had a huge offensive put back to finish off Maine’s 12-0 run that ultimately put the game away. Hartford tried to make it interesting at the end with a couple buckets and Maine missed free throws but it was too little too late as the Black Bears held on for the 105-100 win.

Little leads Maine in 64-63 win

The UMaine men’s basketball team returned home in winning fashion on Saturday afternoon, taking down the Binghamton Bearcats 74-63. Maine came out of the gates extremely hot, getting out to a 13-2 lead in the first five minutes of the game thanks to Little netting 11 points on 4-for-4 shooting. However, Binghamton was able to get themselves out of the early mess and make it a closely contested contest.

Little credited his teammates and his ability to get open for his success early on.

“If I’m open, I’m going to shoot it, and I was open a lot. My teammates believe in me to shoot it and if it goes in it goes in and that’s what boosts my confidence,” Little said.

After the Black Bears quick start in the first five minutes, Binghamton responded quickly to regain the lead after a much needed timeout by Head Coach Tommy Dempsey. Following their timeout, Binghamton then regrouped and put up a 20-4 run on Maine that gave the Bearcats a lead by six points with 7:27 left in the first half. Maine got themselves back on track and were exchanging buckets at an even rate the rest of the half, taking it into the locker room down by four at halftime.

Little and Vann connected on back to back 3-pointers for Maine early on in the second half to tie the game up at 41-41. Neither team was able to grab a hold of a comfortable lead the rest of the way. With 5:00 left to play the Black Bears were up by one point before Walsh made a key substitution. The lineup he featured was Vann and Little along with Eke, Calixte and Lawton. They went on a quick 8-2 run that propelled the Black Bears to a 11-point victory.

Little had a game-high 22 points off of 5-for-8 shooting from three-point range and 8-for-15 from the field. Vann was phenomenal for Maine, throwing down a couple of highlight reel dunks and recorded a double-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds to along with a career-high six assists.

Walsh wasn’t very pleased with the pace of the game but will take the results of today and is proud of his team for grinding it out.

“I thought it was a very good result for us. We had to really, really grind it out in the half court in the second half. We weren’t able to play at the pace of the game we wanted to. This is the first game we have won in our conference that we weren’t able to get the game at our pace,” Walsh said.

Maine improves to 8-13 overall and 4-4 in conference play following the victory. The Bearcats fall to 5-16 overall and 2-6 in conference play after their loss. The Black Bears will carry their two game win streak to Vermont on Feb. 3 to take on the Catamounts at 7 p.m.


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