Gorham, ME – In a game that saw seven lead changes the Owls could not hold on 43-38 lead with 16 minutes to go in the opening game of the University of Southern Maine Invitational Tip-off against the host Huskies.
The Owls outplayed the Huskies for the first ten minutes of the game seeing their lead extend to 10 when Glen Jones (Stamford, CT) hit a three to put UMPI ahead 20-10. The last ten minutes of the half the Huskies would battle back going on a 22-13 run where the Owls would find themselves with a 33-32 advantage going into the half.
Parker Onorato (Bath, ME) would score 10 straight points for UMPI to start the second half helping the Owls to a 43-38 lead with 17:00 remaining in the game. Over the next seven minutes the Huskies and Owls would exchange leads finding themselves tied 57-57 with ten minutes remaining. The Huskies would go on a 10-0 over the next three minutes taking a 67-57 advantage with 7:01 remaining. Gilbert Jean Mendez (Clearwater, FL) would stop the bleeding, nailing a much needed three with 6:51 on the clock to cut the gap to 67-60. The Owls scored on back-to-back possessions with Griffin Guerrette (Mapleton, ME) hitting a pull up midrange jumper and Jean Mendez scoring of a driving layup to cut the Huskies lead to 71-66 with four minutes remaining. The Huskies posed play and clutch free throws, lead by senior Jacobe Thomas would stop the Owls late surge as USM finished off the game with an 81-68 victory.
Guerrette led the way for the Owls with 22 points, four rebounds, two steals, and two assists. Jean Mendez added 18 points and six rebounds. Onorato chipped in with 10 points. Thomas recorded a double double for the Huskies with 28 points and 17 rebounds.