BUFFALO, NY – In a rematch of a New Year's Eve overtime thriller in Presque Isle, the Villa Maria Vikings (7-17) made a furious comeback to beat the University of Maine at Presque Isle Owls (7-9) by a score of 73-71.
The Owls would shoot well early, hitting 50% from the floor including seven of eleven from behind the arc to extend a 16 point lead at the half. The Vikings would pick up their play in the second half to slowly chip away at the UMPI lead. The host team would improve their shooting percentage, and more importantly step up their defense, collecting ten steals in the second half and forcing the Owls to shoot just 28% from the floor. UMPI would only hit one three point shot in the half and the Vikings would take their first lead of the game with 3:10 left in regulation. Villa Maria looked to be running away with that lead, extending it to five points as time ticked away on the Owls, but Chase Vicaire (SR, Mattawamkeag, ME) would connect on a couple of jump shots and the Owls trailed by thee with 31 seconds on the clock. A quick steal by the Owls' Brandon McGill (JR, Hamilton, NJ) would set up Derek Healy (JR, Hanover, MA) for a jump shot which he would connect on and get fouled on. Healey would step to the line and tie the game up by converting on his free throw attempt. The Vikings would get one more attempt offensively and with time winding down Justin Stokes (SO, Buffalo, NY) would get to the rim and convert what proved to be the game winning basket. The Owls' desperation attempt fell short and Villa Maria would exact revenge for the overtime loss they suffered at the hand of the Owls in Presque Isle.
Villa Maria's Donte Campbell (FR, Buffalo, NY) was the leading scorer on the night with 21 points. Stokes would end the game with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Darius Huggins (FR, Buffalo, NY) would make his presence known with 11 rebounds and seven blocks.
For the Owls Maurice Harris (SO, Miami, FL) turned in a good outing with 16 points and nine rebounds. McGill would add 14 points and six rebounds, while Kevin Collins (SO, Fort Washington, MD) would add 13 points. Vicaire would finish with 11 points and eight rebounds.
The Owls return to action on Thursday as they travel to Maine-Machias for a 7:30 game.