PRESQUE ISLE, ME – The University of Maine at Presque Isle Owls Men's Basketball team (3-4) took the Colby College Mules (4-4) down to the wire on Wednesday evening. UMPI would get a basket with 2.1 seconds left to get a 66-64 victory.
The two teams would play even for the first ten minutes, before the Mules would go on seven point run to grab a lead. After the two teams traded three-point baskets, UMPI would get a three-pointer from Derek Healy (SR, Hanover, MA) to cut the lead. Colby would respond, and seemed to be holding tight to their lead, and momentum. The Owls found a way to turn the tide as Jordan Gillespie (SO, Bingham, ME) would throw a high lob pass from deep on the left wing, and Kim Collins (SR, Oxon Hill, MD) would go up and get it, from the opposite side block and slam home the dunk, igniting the UMPI student section. After a defensive stop, and an Anthony Chacho (JR, Watertown, CT) steal, UMPI got a basket from Kevin Collins (JR, Oxon Hill, MD) to pull within two. That whole sequence would spark a 9-0 run for the home team and take the Owls to the locker room leading by a score of 36-31.
After going down by seven to start the second half, the Mules would kick their offense into gear, and a 16-3 run would put them up by eight. UMPI would continue to fight, but would not be able to close the gap until late, and finally reclaimed the lead with 5:10 remaining in the game. After a big three-point basket by Patrick Stewart (SR, Bangor, ME) would give the visitors the lead with 2:13. The following possession saw Healy get to the line, and he would convert on two free throws to tie up the game and set up the dramatic finish. The Owls would get possession with just under a minute, and the offense would get the ball to the hot hand offensively, but defense would prevail, forcing Healy to alter his shot, and give the Mules a chance to win the game. With 12 seconds remaining, Stewart would be fouled trying to reel in a pass and would step to the line for bonus free throws. He would miss the front end of the one-and-one, and Maurice Harris (SO, Miami, FL) would secure the rebound. Healy would get the ball with time winding down, drive down the right side of the lane, and somehow get a shot off the glass with the defense collapsing, giving the Owls the lead with 2.1 seconds left. After a timeout, a long inbounds play would be off the mark, and UMPI would secure the ball and the game, by a final of 66-64.
The Owls would create 16 turnovers in the game and only allow six offensive rebounds, reducing the second chance opportunities by the Mules. The defense put Colby in tough situations throughout the night, drawing three offensive fouls, and forcing their guests to shoot many shots from well beyond the arc. Despite all that, the Mules still were efficient from the floor, knocking down 42.3% of their shots, including 11 of 27 from three. The Owls were able to convert on 44.1% of their shots from the floor and shot six of 18 from deep.
Healy would lead the Owls with 31 points on the night. Kevin Collins would score 13, while grabbing five rebounds and getting four steals. Jordan Cook (SR, Saffron Waldon, UK) would score ten while collecting eight rebounds. Stewart would lead the Mules with 22 points and eight rebounds.
The Owls will host Unit College on Sunday, a reschedule from earlier in the season. The game will tip at 1 PM.