(PRESQUE ISLE, ME) -- Claude Louis (Jr./Union, NJ) scored 21 points and recorded 4 steals in his UMaine-Presque Isle men's basketball debut to lead the Owls to a 74-38 home win over Maine Maritime Academy. It was the first game of the season for both squads as the Owls move to 1-0 while the Mariners fell to 0-1.
The two teams faced off to begin last season in Castine, ME where the Owls were also victorious, 45-32.
On Friday night the Owls displayed a high octane offense that features their top four scorers from a year ago. Last season's point leader, Patrick Manifold (Sr./Great Yarmouth, UK), ate up Mariner defenders in the paint en route to a 15-point, 8-rebound performance.
Michael Warner (Jr./Norwich, UK) completed a trio of UMPI scorers that finished in double figures with 12.
Early on, the two teams felt each other out with UMPI able to repeatedly a small lead only to see the Mariners battle back. Finally the Owls forged some breathing room with seven minutes remaining in the half.
After taking 14 minutes to score their first 17 points of the half, the Owls scored their next 17 over the final 6, stretching a 17-16 lead into a 34-20 halftime advantage. Louis scored 10 points during the decisive 17-4 run.
Not even halftime could slow down the home team's momentum. The inside-outside attack from Manifold and Louis resulted in a 10-2 run to begin the 2nd half and put things out of reach for MMA.
No Mariner reached double figures as the team was led by Caleb MacDonald's 8 points from the bench.
The game was the first for the three-day, three team "Star City Classic" being hosted by Presque Isle. On Saturday at 4pm, the Mariners will again take to the court to face the University of Southern Maine. Then on Sunday, the Owls will return to the home floor for their turn against USM. Start time for that matchup will be 2pm.
** Friday night's game was the first of 23 UMPI men's and women's home games that will be live streamed (video and stats) this season. For more information on the dates and times for Owls' live streaming, go to: http://www.owls.umpi.edu/sports/mbkb/2012-13/schedule
** 7 Owls made their debuts for the Owls tonight. Louis, a transfer from New Jersey, was the only starter, but Chaise Vicaire (Fr./Mattawamkeag, ME) came in off the bench and scored 8 points in 14 minutes.
** After the game, Louis was named the Bradley's Citgo & Car Wash "Player of the Game."