AUBURN, ME – The University of Maine at Presque Isle Men's Basketball team (9-9) would find themselves in overtime for the second time in three games on Wednesday night. The USCAA #9 ranked Central Maine Community College Mustangs (12-6) would surrender a big lead early and eventually fall to the Owls by a score of 74-71.
The Mustangs would start the game red hot and knock down seven of 13 3-point attempts to build a first half lead. CMCC looked to be in control of the game and would go up by 19 with five minutes left in the first half. The Owls would show their resiliency and go on a 11-3 run to end the half and cut into the deficit.
The two teams would match each other to start the second half, and the Mustangs would cling to their 11-point lead until the 9:20 mark. CMCC would then go on a 4 plus minute scoring drought and the UMPI team would capitalize on the opportunity. An 11-0 run would put the Owls right back in the game and set up for an exciting finish. The Mustangs would recover, but 3-pointers on consecutive possessions by Anthony Chacho (JR, Watertown, CT) and Maurice Harris (JR, Miami, FL) would give the Owls their first lead since early in the first half. CMCC would reclaim the lead with a Rob Skinner (JR, Winsted, CT) jumper and free throw, but Derek Healy (SR, Hanover, MA) would tie the game with a layup with just 36 seconds left. On the Mustangs bid to end the game in regulation, Chacho would steal the ball giving the Owls a chance to win the game in dramatic fashion. A Harris three-point attempt would not connect, and Chacho's rebound and quick put back that beat the buzzer fell just short, ending regulation in a score tied at 64.
The Owls would get the advantage early in overtime. Baskets on their second and third possessions of the period, sandwiched around a Mustang turnover would put UMPI up by two scores and force CMCC to put the Owls on the line to lengthen the game. The visitors would hit five of their eight attempts from the charity stripe in overtime, which would be just enough to hold off their hosts. Skinner's desperation three-point attempt would fall short as the buzzer blew, and the Owls would knock off the Mustangs on their home court.
Healy would lead the Owls in scoring with 20 points. Maurice Harris would add 13 points and 14 rebounds to the effort, while Kevin Collins (JR, Oxon Hill, MD) would score 12. Ebby Kamara (JR, Toronto, ON) would add 11 points and Chacho would grab ten rebounds. Skinner would lead the Mustangs with his double-double, scoring 17, while collecting 13 rebounds.
The Owls will host the Maine-Machias Clippers (6-5) on Wednesday, January 25th. That game will follow the Women's matchup and is scheduled for a 7 PM tip. UMPI Athletics will hold their annual cancer awareness event during those games. Many different events, contests, and sales will be associated with those games, with all proceeds going to benefit cancer research.