Presque Isle, ME – The University of Maine at Presque Isle (12-9) have now won five consecutive games after pulling out a 77-75 victory over the University of Maine at Machias (11-8).
The Owls found themselves in an early hole as the Clippers jumped out to a 10-0 lead to start the game. After a timeout, UMPI slowly chipped away at the lead and eventually tie the game with 8:06 left in the first half. Machias was not ready to relinquish control and retook the lead, sending the game to the locker room up 44-42.
The Owls would tie the game up in the first possession of the second half. After a quick turnover, Kevin Collins (SO, Fort Washington, MD) would knock in a jump shot to give the home team their first lead of the game. From that point on the game would be a dog fight and feature nine lead changes as the two teams would jockey back and forth for control. A 10-2 run that ended with a Brandon McGill (JR, Hamilton, NJ) basket at the 4:15 mark would put the Owls up six with time winding down. Things got interesting from there as Ivory Sneed Jr. (SR, Orlando, FL) and McGill would trade baskets, but UMPI would not hit another field goal for the final 3:45. To compound things, the Owls would only convert on three of their seven free throw attempts down the stretch, including missing the front end of a bonus situation. That allowed the Clippers to get a long desperation attempt to win the game, but the shot fell short and the Owls were able to hold on to the two point victory.
Derek Healy (JR, Hanover, MA) led the offensive charge for the Owls, scoring 18 points and adding five assists. Senior guard Chase Vicaire (Mattawamkeag, ME) would put up 17 points while grabbing five rebounds, while McGill would score 15 points and collect six rebounds.
Jorge Milo (JR, Miami, FL) was the offensive star for the Clippers, tallying 30 points on five of nine shooting from the three point line. Milo also had seven assists and six rebounds in his effort. Been Teer (SR, Machias, ME) would add 19 points on four of nine shooting from the arc.
The Owls came into this week ranked number 12 in the USCAA National Poll. After beating #5 Central Maine Community College and #7 U-Maine Machias, UMPI anxiously awaits the poll being released on Friday, February 5. Ten teams are selected to compete in the USCAA National Championship, however three of those spots go to conference champions, and one goes to the host school, leaving just six opportunities for the independent Owls.
The Owls return to action on Sunday, February 7th when the travel to Unity for a 1 PM tip.