A slow start, lack of ball security, and a rebounding discrepancy all combined to doom Maine-Presque Isle on the second day of the Can/Am Tournament, falling to Crandall, 72-62.
The Chargers came out of the gates with energy and an attack mode, jumping to a 13-2 advantage. The Owls were able to finally stem the tide behind early conversions from freshman Kevin Collins. Sophomore Nick Lenhard (pictured) also caused some disruptions defensively, grabbing four steals on the day along with forcing several turnovers.
Thomarcus Nix of Crandall was able to find seams in the usually-dependable UMPI rotation and helped give his team a 41-30 halftime advantage.
The Owls seemed to clean up defensive issues at half, but then struggled to finish shots in the early part of the second half, committing uncharacteristic turnovers and not converting lay ups or free throws.
Head Coach Mike Holmes said, "For most teams, changing from a 35-second to a 24-second shot clock is not a major adjustment. For us, it completely changes our game. We looked rushed, and that is due to the fact that we probably felt that way, and that Crandall is really good at playing that faster tempo game."
Maine-Presque Isle cut the lead to 66-58 with over three minutes to play, and forced a miss in their next defensive possession; however, the Chargers grabbed an offensive rebound and was eventually able to convert, putting the game essentially out of reach.
Freshman Maurice Harris grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Owls, and Collins led UMPI scorers with 18. Maine-Presque Isle next plays Saturday when they host Berkeley (New York). Tip is scheduled for 3 p.m.