December 03, 2019
BANGOR DAILY NEWS (BANGOR, MAINE

UMaine lacks energy> Black Bears fall to Northeastern

ORONO – The University of Maine won’t take any momentum into this weekend’s North Atlantic Conference men’s basketball tournament in Delaware.

The Black Bears made sure of that with a lackluster performance Saturday night at Alfond Arena. With the NAC’s No. 3 seed locked up, Maine played poorly. Cellar dweller Northeastern took advantage, posting a 75-59 victory with 1,292 fans looking on.

Coach Rudy Keeling’s Bears, who finished the regular season at 14-12 overall and 11-7 in league play, take on sixth-seeded Vermont in Saturday’s 8 p.m. NAC quarterfinal at the Carpenter Center in Newark, Del.

The 10th-seeded Huskies (3-23, 2-16) meet No. 7 in a Friday play-in game, also in Delaware.

“They came out and got on us and we just couldn’t turn it around,” said Maine’s Casey Arena. “This is too bad. We lost a lot of momentum losing these two games to BU and Northeastern.”

Keeling, fearing a letdown, hoped his players would not find out Maine had clinched the No. 3 seed by virtue of Delaware’s Friday night victory over Towson State. But word got out.

“Right away, I knew this was going to be a problem,” said an unhappy Keeling, who tried to make sure the team was focused.

“What you saw was a team that knew this was a meaningless game,” he said. “We just played very poorly. We didn’t pay attention to detail, we didn’t guard people, and we didn’t make shots.”

Maine, which was coming off an unimpressive effort in a Thursday night loss at Boston University, let Northeastern shoot 65 percent from the floor. The Bears shot only 33 percent.

Northeastern picked apart Maine’s usually gritty defense. Marcus Wills led the way, scoring 24 points on slick penetration moves. Lonnie Harrell netted 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while Clyde Fraser added seven points and six rebounds.

Allen Ledbetter was a bright spot for Maine, scoring 15 points and grabbing six rebounds. John Gordon, still bothered by a sore shoulder, chipped in with 11 points and Ramone Jones had eight.

The Huskies, who led by seven at halftime, led by as many as 20 points in the second half. NU shot 71 percent (17-for-24) from the field to hold off a Maine rally midway through the second half.

Lin Lattimore scored on a runner from the lane and added a dunk to ignite a decisive 14-2 run. Harrell’s scoop shot, a Wills runner and Harold Miller’s eight-foot jumper gave NU a 47-29 bulge with 11:37 to play.

Maine showed some life two minutes later, putting together a 15-4 flurry. Ledbetter opened it with a jump hook and ended it with a dunk and free throw three-point play, making it 55-46 with 5:28 left.

The Huskies answered slowed things down and Wills scored six points to key an NU run that pushed the lead back to 66-48 with 1:35 left.

The Huskies got the best of the first-half action. Maine was effective when able to run, but Northeastern didn’t afford the Bears many transition chances.

Fraser’s rebound basket at the 8:55 mark kicked off a 10-0 scoring run that gave the Huskies a 29-17 lead. The Bears responded with the last five points of the half, including a Ledbetter dunk.

Maine was not effective in its half-court offense and shot 27 percent (9-for-34) from the field.

Huskies 75, Black Bears 59

Northeastern (3-23) Maine men (14-12)

Name G AG F AF TP Name G AG F AF TP

Miller 1 1 0 0 2 Gordon 3 15 4 5 11

Harrell 6 9 6 8 20 Arena 3 12 1 3 7

Lattimore 4 7 0 0 8 Moore 2 8 0 0 5

Fraser 3 3 1 3 7 Thompson 1 4 0 3 2

Singletary 3 7 2 4 8 Collins 2 6 0 1 4

Wills 11 17 2 3 24 Jones 3 7 1 2 8

Powell 0 0 0 0 0 Reynolds 0 0 0 0 0

McIntosh 2 2 0 0 4 Thomas 1 1 1 2 3

McGraw 0 0 2 2 2 Ledbetter 6 12 3 3 15

Cox 0 0 0 0 0 Logan 2 5 0 0 4

Totals 30 46 13 20 75 Totals 23 70 10 19 59

Northeastern 29 75

Maine 22 59

3-pt. goals: NU (2-6): Harrell 2-4, Singletary 0-2; Maine (3-22): Gordon 1-10, Arena 0-4, Moore 1-3, Jones 1-5


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