AUBURN, ME – Four University of Maine at Presque Isle (3-1) players scored in double digits on Tuesday, as Central Maine Community College's (8-4) fell short in a back and forth battle. The visiting Owls would make their free throws down the stretch to seal an 80-64 victory.
Senior Chase Vicaire (Mattawamkeag, ME) would put the Owls up early, hitting a jumper and two three-point attempts to score their first eight points. Strong shooting would lead UMPI to an early lead as they continually stretched the scoring margin in their favor. Down 17-7, the Mustangs weren't going to let their guests run away with the game, going on a 9-3 run to close that gap to 20-16 at about the twelve minute mark. UMPI would respond with a 10-2 run of their own to put some distance between the two teams. The Owls would shoot 51.9% from the floor in the first half, including 8 of 14 from the three point arc to take a 40-31 lead at the half.
The halftime break proved to be just what the Mustangs needed, as Maine-Presque Isle would suddenly go cold to start the second half. Six and a half minutes would pass before the Owls would connect on a shot from the floor. Central Maine would go on a 22-4 scoring binge in the first eight minutes of the half to take a 55-44 lead. With just twelve minutes remaining the Owls would get hot offensively. Derek Healy (JR, Hanover, MA) would grab two key rebounds to give the Owls' offense a chance to regain the lead. With 7:43 left Vicaire would hit another three to put the road team back on top. Afterthe Mustangs tied the game at again at 62, the Owls would finish the game outscoring their hosts 18-4, including shooting eight for eleven from the free throw line in the final three and a half minutes.
The Owls would end the game shooting 51% from the floor, including going 12 of 23 from behind the arc. Central Maine would claim a big advantage on the glass, collecting 36 rebounds to UMPI's 19. The Owls would negate that advantage by forcing 25 turnovers in the game. Head Coach Mike Holmes was proud of his team's effort to win the game. "To CMCC's credit, their young guys came out to play in the second half. I was proud that we made adjustments and showed maturity, going to our interior instead of relying solely on our oustide scoring. We were very mature in the final five minutes to secure the game."
Vicaire would lead all scorers with 29 points. He shot the ball exceptionally well, going ten of seventeen from the floor, and seven of ten from the three point line. Nick Lenhard (JR, Falcon, CO) would hit three shots from behind the arc as well, and added a seven of eight from the free throw line effort to put up 16. Kevin Collins (SO, Oxen Hill, MD) would add twelve points. Brandon McGill (JR, Hamilton, NJ) would contribute eleven points, nine of them coming in the last 13 minutes of the game, an effort which helped spurn the Owls to victory.
For the Mustangs, Rob Skinner (SO, Winsted, CT) was the top contributor, scoring 21 points while pulling down nine rebounds. Carrington Miller (JR, Bingham, ME) would add 17 points and nine rebounds, while Elijah Barbour (FR, Reston, VA) would come off the bench to score 15.
These two teams will square off again on January 30th in Presque Isle. The Owls return to action on Monday as they visit U Maine Augusta. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 PM.