PRESQUE ISLE, ME – The University of Maine at Presque Isle Owls (4-5) were able to get back on the winning track on Thursday night, beating the Unity College Rams (2-6) 89-69 at home.
The Owls established an inside presence early in the game as Brandon McGill (JR, Hamilton, NJ) started the game off with two quick post moves to put the home team up four. After a Unity basket, Kevin Collins (SO, Oxen Hill, MD) took his turn on the inside, scoring another quick four points and putting the Owls up 8-4. UMPI continued to hold a slim lead as they continued through the first half, until just under nine minutes when the Owls defense started to shut down the Rams attack. In a just over three minute period the home team went on a 14-3 run and opened up an eleven point lead. The Owls would head to the break with a ten point lead off of a buzzer beating put back shot from Quniton Harris (SO, Florence, NJ) sent UMPI to the locker room on a high note.
It looked as though the Rams were going to jump back into the fight early in the first half, as the USCAA's leading scorer Eddie Kopacz (SR, Thompson, CT) was hot to start the half, hitting six points to pull Unity to within three points in just four minutes of the second half. That was as close as the Rams would get as they would go the next four minutes without scoring from the field and the Owls were able to open up an 18 point lead and take control of the game from that point on. The visitors were never able to close the gap and the University of Maine at Presque Isle finished the game strong to take the twenty point victory.
"We seldom have a size advantage," said Head Coach Mike Holmes, "but we recognized the discrepancy, fed our posts early, and controlled the boards throughout the night. We had good energy and only a few mental mistakes on player identification."
The Owls finished the contest shooting 54% from the field and five players with double digit point totals. Kevin Collins would lead the group with 18 points and five rebounds. McGill contributed 13 points and 8 rebounds, while Quinton Harris, Derek Healy (JR, Hanover, MA), and Muarice Harris (SO, Miami, FL) would all finish with twelve points apiece. Kopacz would end the night scoring 37 points on seven of twelve shooting from the 3 point line.
The Owls will go on the road Saturday afternoon to face Plymouth State at 2 PM. They then return home for their last game before break and will host Thomas College on Sunday. Tip is scheduled for 3 PM.