Owl women’s and men’s hoop teams off to strong starts

6 years ago

The University of Maine at Presque Isle women’s basketball team won just three games all of last season.

After a successful opening weekend, coach Gavin Kane’s Owl squad is just one win away from matching that total.

UMPI defeated Rivier University of Nashua, New Hampshire, Saturday and Lesley University of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Monday, while falling to Fisher College of Boston in between the two victories Sunday. All three contests were played on the road.

The Owl men’s team came out on top in both of its games in the Charlie Ryan Classic tournament held at Thomas College in Waterville Friday and Saturday.

The women made their debut in Nashua against Rivier and overcame a 25-20 deficit after the first quarter to post a 72-70 win thanks to a layup by Marissa Valdivia-Reagle with less than three seconds remaining.

For UMPI, Rhylee Wright posted 20 points and 10 rebounds despite playing only 25 minutes due to foul trouble. Hunter Mercier connected on four 3-pointers to finish with 16 points, while freshman point guard Sara Mussleman added 13 points and junior Emmy Churchill tossed in 11 more.

In the 63-35 loss to Fisher Saturday afternoon in Boston, the Owls were outscored 16-4 in the second quarter to fall behind by 18 points at intermission and they never recovered.

Wright had 10 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots to lead UMPI. Reagle added eight points, six rebounds and four steals, and Churchill six points and seven rebounds. Mussleman also totaled six points.

Back in action Monday, the Owls defeated Lesley University in Cambridge by a 78-53 margin. Wright dominated the game with 28 points and 16 rebounds. Reagle put together an impressive statistical line with nine points, eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals. Mercier contributed 11 points and Kendra Silvers tossed in seven points and grabbed eight boards.

UMPI next takes on Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts, on Sunday, Nov. 18.

Coach Dan Kane’s Owl men also enjoyed a successful weekend, sweeping their tourney games played in Waterville Friday and Saturday.

UMPI put 49 points on the board in the second half in the 79-57 victory over Norwich University of Northfield, Vermont, in the opener. Deandre Duncombe had 22 points and nine rebounds and Shyquinn Dix collected a statistical double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Owls. Griffin Guerrette, a freshman from Presque Isle, added 11 points and Te’Von Hines pulled down eight rebounds.

The next day, UMPI proved to be too much for the University of Maine at Augusta Moose as the Owls won, 87-77. Duncombe had 23 points, 10 rebounds and four assists to lead the way, while Guerrette came off the bench to hit five 3-pointers and netted 21 points. Hines pitched in with 16 points and seven rebounds.

The Owl men will play Colby College on Friday, Nov. 16 and the University of Southern Maine Saturday, Nov. 17, as part of the Colby Tournament in Waterville.