FORT KENT, ME – The UMPI Men's Basketball team (1-4) travelled north to take on Aroostook County rivals the University of Maine at Fort Kent on Monday (7-2). The Bengals would successfully defend their home court, holding on for a 68-63 win.
The Owls would have the advantage for much of the first half, but were never able to put much distance between themselves and UMFK. A strong shooting performance from the arc would sustain the UMPI attack, but the Bengals would make a run late in the first half. A few turnovers would cost the visitors the lead, as the Owls would go into the locker room down 35-34.
The Bengals would continue to hold that lead into the second half. The UMFK squad would rely on their athleticism and continued to attack the rim, but the Owls would continue to stick in the game. With just over 14 minutes remaining UMPI would reclaim the lead, but it would be short-lived. The Bengals would come back and hold as big as a seven-point lead coming down the stretch. UMPI would have multiple chances to tie the game late, but would not capitalize on those opportunities. Late free throws would seal the game for the Bengals, as the Owls would fall on the road 68-63.
The Bengals would shoot 40.3% from the floor, while the Owls would go 34.3% from the field. UMPI would shoot almost 40% from behind the arc, hitting 11 of 28 three-point attempts. UMFK would win the rebounding battle, collecting 47 to the Owls' 30. The host team's ability to get to the free throw line would be the big turn that would help them seal the win, as they would go 16 of 24 from the charity stripe, while UMPI would toe the free throw line just nine times, converting on six of those.
Travis Harlin (JR, Long Beach, CA) would lead all scorers, as he would pour in 29 points on the evening on 13 of 21 shooting. He would also add six rebounds. Benson Arogbo (JR, Nottingham, England) and Bobby Syvanthong (JR, Richmond, CA) would collect ten rebounds. For the Owls three players would score in double digits. Kevin Collins (JR, Oxon Hill, MD) and Kim Collins (SR, Oxon Hill, MD) would pace UMPI with 16 points apiece. Maurice Harris (JR, Miami, FL) would add 15 points and seven rebounds, while Derek Healy (SR, Hanover, MA) would grab seven rebounds. Ebby Kamara (JR, Toronto, ON) would collect six rebounds.
These two teams will meet again this season on February 12th. That game on the UMPI campus is scheduled for a 2 PM tip off. The Owls will take the court on Thursday as the play host to Unity College at 7 PM.