Owl teams finish at home vs. UMFK, men earn playoff berth
The University of Maine at Presque Isle men’s basketball team is looking forward to participating in the North Atlantic Conference tournament after qualifying in its first season in the league.
The Owls finished sixth with a 5-9 record. The team is 11-13 overall.
“We have had a tough year with injuries and have not had a game since our opener against Norwich where our starting five have all been completely healthy,” said second-year Owls’ coach, Dan Kane. “I am very pleased with our guys that we didn’t give up and kept grinding out the season to make the playoffs.
“Losing our leading scorer (DeAndre Duncombe) to an injury first practice back from break and starting conference play with six consecutive losses, while losing close game after close game, many teams would have given up but our guys kept up good spirits and kept working,” he added.
UM-Farmington is first in the NAC at 11-2, followed by Husson University with a 10-3 record. SUNY-Canton (9-5), Thomas College (8-5), and Maine Maritime Academy (7-6) round out the top five ahead of UMPI.
The top six teams make the tourney. The quarterfinals are set for Saturday, Feb. 16, with UMPI drawing the third seed, SUNY-Canton, at 1 p.m. in Canton, New York.
The semifinals will be on Feb. 22 and the UMPI vs. SUNY-Canton winner will play No. 2 Husson, with the championship game on Feb. 23. Those games will all be played in Farmington.
Shyquinn Dix is second in the NAC in scoring at 17.2 points per game, with Presque Isle native Griffin Guerrette 11th, averaging 12.7 ppg. Te’Von Hines is eighth in rebounds at 6 per contest. Will Griffiths is fourth in field goal percentage at 54.1 and Hines is sixth at 50.8. Dix is shooting 3-pointers at a 42.1 percent clip, good for sixth in the conference.
With a 4-10 league record, the UMPI women (9-15 overall) fell short of getting into the postseason, finishing in seventh place out of eight teams. Husson is undefeated at 13-0, with Maine Maritime Academy one spot back at 11-2. SUNY-Canton (8-6) is currently third, followed by Northern Vermont-Lyndon (7-6), Thomas (5-8) and UM-Farmington (5-8). UMPI finished ahead of Northern Vermont-Johnson (0-13).
The Owl men and women both swept road games at Northern Vermont-Johnson over the weekend.
On Friday, the men pulled out a 94-90 victory behind Guerrette’s 24 points and six assists. Dix had 23 points and Hines added 20, while KJ Minter hauled in 13 rebounds. In Saturday’s game, Hines scored the game-winning basket with 2.8 seconds left in the 76-75 triumph. Guerrette tallied 21 points and grabbed five rebounds, while Dix contributed 17 points and Hines had 12 points and six boards. Griffiths led the way in rebounds with 12 and also had 10 points.
Coach Gavin Kane’s UMPI women gained a 67-59 triumph Friday as Rhylee Wright had a big game with 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Owls. Hunter Mercier added 18 points and seven rebounds and Marissa Valdivia-Reagle posted 13 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and five steals. On Saturday, the Owls won again, this time by a score of 71-57. Wright fired in 29 points to lead all scorers and she also grabbed nine rebounds. Mercier netted five 3-pointers for her 15-point total and Reagle posted 11 points, eight boards and six steals.