Owl hoop squads swept at home by Thomas
The Thomas College Terriers pulled away late to take down the University of Maine at Presque Isle Owls, 69-45, in a game played at Wieden Gym Sunday afternoon.
The Owls jumped out to an early 10-2 lead, with four different UMPI players contributing to the cause. The lead didn’t last as they went cold and did not score a field goal for the next nine minutes. There were just over five minutes left in the half when Kevin Collins hit a jumper, but by that time the Terriers had a 18-15 lead. Thomas never surrendered that lead as they used their size to take away the inside game of the 4-7 Owls, and UMPI was only 1 of 15 from the three-point line.
Down just four at half, the Owls showed some fight in the second half, drawing the score to within three on multiple occasions. Thomas shot well throughout, hitting 52 percent of its shots, and finally pulled away. UMPI knocked down just 29.8 percent of their shots on the night, and just could not keep up with the Terriers pace.
Tyheem Simon led all scorers with 23 points and grabbed six rebounds. Mike Akanji added 13 points and seven rebounds, and Carlos Gonzalez scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Also for Thomas, freshman Dayne Savage of Caribou came off the bench to add eight points.
Collins scored 11 for the Owls in the losing effort.
The Owls will take a break for the holidays before coming back to face Villa Maria College of Buffalo, N.Y. at home for a New Year’s Eve day game that tips at 2 p.m.
Plymouth State handed the Owls a 69-66 loss in Plymouth, N.H. the previous day. A furious comeback by the Panthers, paired with a cold second half by UMPI, resulted in a tough loss. A buzzer-beating three-pointer by Curtis Arsenault at the buzzer gave Plymouth State the victory.
The Owls came out of the locker room hot to start the game, shooting 59.3 percent from the floor including 7-of-9 from the three point line. Chase Vicaire paced the attack with 16 points and Collins had 10, as the Owls extended to a 16-point lead at the half.
The Panthers picked up the pace in the second half, shooting 48.5 percent from the field and hitting four of nine from behind the arc. The Owls held an 18-point lead before the Panthers went on a 20-4 run in a 10-minute span to close to within two points. From there it was a back-and-forth battle as the teams traded leads heading down the stretch.
With just 23 seconds left in the game, UMPI’s Derek Healy drove the lane and tied the game at 66, setting up the dramatic finish. On the final play of the game, the Panthers’ Brian Bouley dribbled into the lane and nearly lost the ball before flipping it out to Arsenault, who drained a fall-away three-pointer from the left wing as time expired to give Plymouth State University a dramatic victory.
Vicaire cooled off in the second half and finished with 19 points and four steals. Collins had 14 points and seven rebounds, while sophomore Maurice Harris added 12 points. Plymouth State’s Arsenault finished with game-high 20 points.
UMPI’s only win of the week came on Thursday night as the Owls beat the Unity College Rams, 89-69.
The Owls established an inside presence early in the game as Brandon McGill started with two quick post moves to put the home team ahead. After a Unity basket, Collins 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 the first half continued, but the Owls defense started to shut down the Rams attack. In a just over three-minute span, the home team went on a 14-3 run to open up an 11-point lead. The Owls went into the break with a 10-point lead thanks to a buzzer-beating putback shot from Quinton Harris.
It looked as though the Rams were going to jump back into the fight early in the second half as the USCAA’s leading scorer Eddie Kopacz was hot to start the half, hitting six points to pull Unity to within three points in just four minutes. That was as close as the Rams got as they went the next four minutes without scoring from the field and the Owls were able to open up an 18-point lead to take control of the game. The visitors were never able to close the gap and UMPI finished the game strong to take the 20-point victory.
“We seldom have a size advantage,” said Mike Holmes, the Owls’ head coach, “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 percent from the field and five players with double-digit point totals. Collins led the group with 18 points and five rebounds. McGill contributed 13 points and eight rebounds, while Quinton Harris, Maurice Harris and Healy finished with 12 points apiece. Kopacz ended the night by scoring 37 points, including seven three-pointers.
Owl women remain winless
The UMPI women dropped their home opener Sunday and fell to 0-9 overall as Thomas College of Waterville scored a 55-45 triumph.
The Owls were able to jump out to an early lead with some sharp shooting. Brianna Losee drilled a three-point shot to put UMPI up 7-4 with 6:32 remaining in the first quarter. The Terriers took control at that point, going on an 11-3 run to go up five after the first break. The Owls were able to close the gap to within five only one more time from that point as Thomas College gradually push their lead out and dominated the Owls.
UMPI did close the gap to nine at one point in the fourth quarter as Losee scored seven in the final period and Amanda Hotham added a couple of jumpers from behind the arc, but it was not enough to get back into the contest as the Terriers came out on top.
Thomas’ Ashleigh Gagne paced all scorers with 15 points. Katie McAllister added 12 points, four rebounds and three assists off the bench. Losee paced the Owls in her first game back from an injury by scoring 13 points. Hotham added 12 and Sydney Churchill chipped in with 10.
The Owls also don’t return to action until taking on Villa Maria College of Buffalo in a New Year’s Eve contest that tips at noon.