PRESQUE ISLE, ME – The University of Maine at Presque Isle Owls (5-7) pulled out an exciting overtime victory over the Villa Maria Vikings (5-15) at home on New Year's Eve.
The two teams fought a back and forth battle throughout the first. After seven lead changes they would end up tied at 26 at the break. The Vikings would jump out to a lead in the second half, and stretched it out to a nine point lead on two separate occasions, the largest lead either team would enjoy at any point in the game. A 12-2 stretch would put the Owls back in the lead with 8:36 remaining in regulation, their first lead of the half. From there it would be a back and forth struggle once again.
With 1:45 remaining and the game and the score tied at 59, Quinton Harris (SO, Florence, NJ) hit a jump shot to put the Owls up late. After the teams traded missed shots, the Vikings would get a second chance opportunity. With 37 seconds left on the clock, Darius Huggins (FR, Buffalo, NY) would miss his put back shot, but get fouled on the play. He would knock down both of his free throws to tie the game once again, and set up a last possession for the Owls. Villa Maria's defense created a loose ball situation with time winding down, resulting in a dual possession. The alternating possession arrow gave the Owls back the ball with just seven seconds left and four second on the shot clock. A golden opportunity to end the game in regulation was missed by the Owls, as they were fouled on the ensuing play, but not able to convert on either free throw. A desperation half court heave would not fall for the Vikings and the two teams would need an extra period to decide the winner.
The Owls would come out hot in overtime, as Chase Vicaire (SR, Mattawamkeag, ME) got the scoring started with a jump shot. A defensive stop set up a long possession for the Owls in which the found Nick Lenhard (JR, Falcon, CO) in the corner, and it paid off as he drilled the three point shot to put UMPI up five. Huggins would hit a jump shot shortly after to pull the Vikings to within three, but that would be as close as Villa Maria would get in overtime. Lenhard would score seven in the extra period to help lift the Owls to a 74-68 win.
Five UMPI players would finish in the double digits as Vicaire would pace everyone with 19 points. Maurice Harris (SO, Miami, FL) would put up 16 points while adding nine rebounds. Lenhard would finish with 14 pionts, while Brandon McGill (JR, Hamilton, NJ) would add eleven and Quinton Harris would finish with ten points.
For the Vikings Huggins would score 15 points and grab eight rebounds. Justin Stokes (SO, Buffalo, NY) would also chip in 15 points, while DeJaun Owens (FR, Buffalo, NY) and Donte Campbell (FR, Buffalo, NY) would score 14 points apiece.
The Owls will host the CAN/AM tournament this weekend. They will face-off with the University of New Brunswick-St. John on Saturday at 8 PM. The two teams will square off a second time on Sunday at 6 PM.