UNIONTOWN, PA – The University of Maine at Presque Isle (13-12) held a lead for most of their first every appearance in the USCAA National Tournament, but could not hold off the College of St. Joseph (VT) (21-10) as their furious comeback ended with a 75-71 victory for the Fighting Saints.
After a three-point shot would put the Fighting Saints up early in the matchup, the Owls would go on an 11-3 run to take control of the game early. UMPI would hold the lead for the rest of the first half, and pull away in the last five minutes, taking an 11 point lead into the halftime break. Kevin Collins (SO, Oxen Hills, MD) had the hot hand in the early going, scoring twenty points in the first half on 9-12 shooting.
The Owls would continue to stretch their lead to start the second half, and with 14 minutes to go, they would find themselves with a 19 point lead. A quick seven points would reinvigorate the College of St. Joseph's. They would turn up the defensive pressure from that point on, and the full court press would suddenly perplex the Owls, as they would end up with 16 turnovers in the second half. Still down 13 at the five and half minute mark, the Fighting Saints would go on a nine point run to close the gap. Senior Chase Vicaire (Mattawamkeag, ME) would hit a layup then hit a three point shot in consecutive possessions with just over three minutes remaining, but it wouldn't be enough. UMPI would not hit another field goal the rest of the game. Antonio Gordon (FR, Memphis, TN) would hit a three to tie the game with 1:49 remaining, and hit another one with twenty five seconds remaining to put the College of Saint Joseph's up five. Maine-Presque Isle would struggle to get an open look and the Fighting Saints would complete the comeback to take the four point victory.
Gordon would lead the offensive attack for the College of Saint Joseph's, scoring 29 points and grabbing seven rebounds. Travis Threewitts (SR, Queens, NY) added 12 points.
Kevin Collins would end the night with 25 points. Brandon McGill (JR, Hamilton, NJ) scored 13 points while collecting 12 rebounds, while Vicaire would also record a double-double, scoring 12 and collecting 11 rebounds.
The Owls will conclude their season with a consolation game tomorrow. They will face in-state rival Central Maine Community College at 1:15.