In their home opener, the University of Maine Black Bears Men’s Basketball won in dominating fashion over the visiting University of Maine–Presque Isle Owls 111-59 on Sunday evening in The Pit. The Black Bears bounced back in the best way possible after losing their season opener to the Charlotte 49ers.
The Isle Owls jumped to an early lead after layups by fourth-year guard Dany Harris and third-year guard Myles Jones. Second-year guard Kelln Tynes put the Black Bears on the board, halting any potential momentum for Maine–Presque. The third-year guard finished with 18 points, two assists and four steals in only 19 minutes.
After a layup by UMPI second-year guard Doug McCalla, Maine went on an incredible 36-10 run. During that stretch, the trio of third-year forward A.J. Lopez, third-year forward Kristians Feierbergs, and fourth-year forward Peter Filipovity outscored the entire Isle Owl team.
Maine entered the half-time break up 53-34, after an incredible and-one jumper by Tynes with under a minute remaining and a block by Feierbergs on a last-second three-point attempt to end the half.
Despite the massive lead, Maine did not slow down. They outscored Isle Owls 58 to 25 in the second half. First-year guard Logan Carey came alive after halftime, with the starters not playing much of the second half due to the massive lead. Carey finished the game with 18 points, 13 of which he scored in the second half. It was a great home debut, showing why he will be an issue for any other team in the country facing the Black Bears for years.
It was a total team effort on offense, with 13 players scoring. As a team, they shot 61.5 percent from the field. Carey and Tynes led the team in scoring with 18, respectively, with Lopez adding 14. Lopez transferred from the University of New Hampshire and has been a quality bench player for the Black Bears, scoring in double digits in the first two games of the season. Third-year forward Milos Nenadic had a super efficient 16 off the bench, only missing one shot, while also snagging 10 rebounds, notching his first career double-double.
For the Isle Owls, Harris led the team in scoring with 14. Second-year guard David Ellington finished with 12 points off the bench, the only other player to reach double figures outside of Harris.
Defensively, the Black Bears held Maine–Presque to 30.4 percent from the field and 11.8 percent from the three-point line, only allowing 2 makes the entire game. They also dominated the glass, outrebounding their opponent 54-32.
Another good sign throughout the first two games of the season has been Maine’s ball security. Maine has created more turnovers than they commit in their early games. They forced 16 turnovers, allowing multiple fastbreak opportunities, leading to easy buckets in transition.
The Black Bears move to 1-1 on the season following and host the 0-1 Merrimack Warriors this upcoming Sunday.