Waterville, ME – The University of Maine at Presque Isle Owls men's basketball team played in their North Atlantic Conference playoff game in their second consecutive year. Face four seed Thomas College at their home court. The Owls would hold onto a 87-86 victory after a late-game stop and clutch free throws by starting forward KJ Minter (So. Elkton, ME).
The Owls started the game off with some hot shooting from the three to go along with some early defense. Going into half time up 43-39 in the close NAC battle. The Owls came out hot with a 6-0 run in just the first minute of play bringing the lead to ten. UMPI continued to push their lead up, bringing it to 17 points, coming off a 9-0 run, score at 61-44.
The Terriers were not done yet. Grinding back, slowly, bringing the game within 10 with 10 minutes left to go. More back and forth play, until, Thomas's quick 5-1 run brought them within two with just under four minutes to go. We would hit the two-minute mark, where DeAndre Duncombe (Jr. Port St. Lucie, FL) picked up his fifth foul, finishing the game with a huge 16 points off 7-10 shooting to go along with five rebounds and four assists. Fellow Floridian Chris Brown (So. Port St. Lucie, FL) would enter the game for Duncombe.
Immediately following, Demetris Webster, connected on a lay-up to tie the game. A missed opportunity by the Owls, led to a three by the Terriers to take a three-point lead. After a time-out by the Owls, Brown would come up big with a clutch lay-up late in the shot clock to bring the Owls within one with 56 seconds on the clock. The Terriers would walk it up the court, while the Owls locked in defensively and were able to force a tough shot. Minter would come up with a big rebound, causing the terriers to foul him on the play. Down one with 29 seconds to go, Minter would sink both free throws in clutch fashion. Another bigtime stop by the Owls led by Brown, causing another tough shot! Minter yet again came up with another big rebound, one of his nine on the day, with only two seconds on the clock. Minter found himself at the free throw line again. Although he would miss both, Minter would make it up by breaking up the Terriers late-game play to seal the game, and advance the Owls to the NAC Final Four.
Shyquinn Dix (Jr. Stamford, CT) led all scorers with 21 points off 9-18 shooting to go along with six rebounds, five assists and two steals. Te'Von Hines (Sr. Alexandria, VA) gave the Terriers problems throughout the game, finishing with 17 points on 6-12 shooting and going 3-6 from the three. Hines finished with five rebounds and three assists as well. Griffin Guerrette (So. Presque Isle, ME) came up big in the second half, scoring nine of his 13, finishing the game shooting 5-10 from the field. Brown came up with a huge, 12 points off the bench off 4-6 shooting and 2-3 from the three as well as a perfect 2-2 from the free throw line.
The Owls will head to the University of Maine at Farmington to take on the number one ranked Beavers on their home court, Friday the 28th at 5:30pm.