Maine-Presque Isle used a torrid start and survival mode at the wire to win their opening contest of the 2014-15 campaign against the University of Maine-Augusta, 66-63 Saturday in Presque Isle.
Junior Chase Vicaire paced the Owls in the early going, banging in three three-point field goals in the opening six minutes of play, spotting Maine-Presque Isle to an early 14-5 advantage. The Moose came back behind big offensive rebounds and putbacks from Brandon Rogers. The Owls kept a three-point advantage into intermission, 32-29, with help from freshman Kevin Collins and several big defensive plays from sophomore Nick Lenhard.
Maine-Presque Isle could not pull away further than 9 points in the second half, as game-high scorer Keith Chesley of the Moose began to heat up. Freshman Trevor Lovely provided offensive spark for the Owls to keep the game virtually even. As time ebbed away, Maine-Augusta took a four-point advantage 63-59 on a putback from Rodgers, but the Owls were able to answer with over a minute to play on a three-point goal from Vicaire to cut the lead to 63-62. When Lenhard forced a jump ball on the ensuing defensive possession, the Owls set up a basket attack by Collins, who made the field goal and was fouled, putting the home team up 64-63.
With a final opportunity, sophomore Jordan Cook executed the biggest defensive play of the night drawing a charge with 3 seconds to play. Vicaire was fouled on the inbound and made both free throws to account for the final margin of victory.