April 21, 2019
MEN'S BASKETBALL

Junior swingman Jackson stands out in Maine victory

ORONO – When the University of Maine men’s basketball team was good Friday night, it was very, very good. When it was bad, it was very, very bad.

Fortunately for the Black Bears, the very, very worst they played accounted for a five-minute span of a 40-minute exhibition game and Maine rebounded from a horrible start to the second half with a 100-73 victory over the Connecticut Stars.

“We really did a bad job offensively during that stretch,” said Maine coach John Giannini. “Outside of that, I thought the other 35 minutes were fine.”

Especially fine play was turned in by junior swingman Jermaine Jackson, who canned 6 of 9 3-point shots en route to a game-high 28 points in his debut at Alfond Arena.

“I loved it, you know? I’m just pumped up to be out there after sitting out a year,” Jackson said. “Coach G has been showing me so many things I haven’t learned before and confidence-wise, I always try to keep it high.”

Just like his shooting percentages (61.5 from the floor and 85.7 from the foul line). The 6-foot-4 junior college transfer also had five rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block.

“I’m really pleased with Jermaine because he’s a new player and we’ve seen him do it in practice, but it’s great to see him do it in a game situation,” Giannini said. “What we’re finding out is, as he said, he’s confident in practice and games. This was a test and I like the results.”

Another player who stood out was senior guard Ludmil “Udo” Hadjisotirov, the second-year transfer from Boston College who has been injured the bulk of his last two seasons. The Bears’ captain scored 11 points and dished out a game-high seven assists while committing just two turnovers. He says he feels 90 percent physically, but he looked like 100.

“I do, probably because I rested during the summer and got healthier,” he said. “I feel better now. At the end of last season, coach said I might want to try to lose 10 pounds and I think that has helped me also.”

The Bears committed five turnovers and watched as a 15-point lead shrank to three in four minutes, but managed to shake it off as Hadjisotirov relieved Eric Dobson at the point. Dobson was strong when he re-entered the game later and finished with 21 points, five assists, and two steals. Sophomore more guard Kevin Reed had 14 points and four assists.

Former UMaine player and current Maine Central Institute Postgrad hoops coach Ed Jones joined the Stars for the game and had six points in his “homecoming.” Jeremy Bishop led Connecticut with 17 points and eight boards.

BLACK BEARS 100, STARS 73

Connecticut Maine

Player G AG F AF TP Player G AG AF TP

Bradford 6 16 0 0 15 Dobson 8 12 21

Lovett 4 6 3 5 11 Hadjisotirov 4 11

Antrum 2 6 2 2 6 Reed 6 13 14

Sanders 0 5 0 0 0 Dubois 2 4 5

Amos 3 4 0 1 6 Campbell 1 2 3

Ramano 2 9 2 2 6 Wallingford 0 0

Lott 2 3 0 0 6 Petkus 2 5 0 5

Bishop 8 14 0 1 17 Flavin 2 4 8

Jones 3 5 0 0 6 Jackson 8 13 28

Bruff 1 2 0 3

Ahvenniemi 1 3 2

Totals 30 68 7 11 73 35 68 15 28 100

Connecticut 32 73

Maine 47 100

3-pt. goals ? Connecticut (6-23): Bradford 3-10, Lott 2-3, Bishop 1-2, Lovett 0-1, Antrum 0-3, Sanders 0-4; Maine (15-35): Jackson 6-9, Hadjisotirov 2-6, Reed 2-7, Bruff 1-1, Flavin 1-2, Campbell 1-2, Dobson 1-3, Petkus 1-4, Wallingford 0-1

Attendance: 1,299


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