ORONO — Exhibition opponents often are weak teams that don’t provide much resistance.
This year, University of Maine men’s basketball coach Ted Woodward scheduled a Laval University team to test his Black Bears.
Kaimondre Owes scored 10 of his team-high 14 points in the second half Sunday, leading UMaine to a 67-62 exhibition victory over the Canadian school at Alfond Arena.
The UMaine women beat the University of New Brunswick 78-66 in Sunday’s first game.
The UMaine men fought through a tough, physical contest with solid defense and good offensive execution.
“We haven’t played them in the past because I know how good they are,” Woodward said. “They’re big and they’re physical. I really wanted to challenge our guys.”
Sophomore Sean McNally of Gardiner registered 12 points and 10 rebounds while Houlton native Mark Socoby added eight points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals.
The Bears shot 43 percent from the field and committed only 13 turnovers.
Owes scored six straight points, including two foul shots, a fast-break layup and a short runner in the lane, to spark a 7-0 run that gave UMaine the lead for good at 53-45 with 7:49 left.
Xavier Baribeau posted 16 points to lead Laval.
In the women’s game, the Black Bears played 27 minutes of tenacious defense that enabled them to build a commanding 28-point advantage.
UMaine led 65-37 with 12:24 left, generating steals and transition scoring opportunities with aggressive defense.
“They played better defense in that first half than at any point last season,” said UMaine coach Cindy Blodgett. “They did a great job of sort of imposing their will [on UNB]. They created a lot of havoc.”
UMaine made 13 steals and tallied 29 points off 26 turnovers.
The Varsity Reds made a determined second-half charge with a 22-2 run, but never got closer than eight points (67-59).
Junior forward Brittany Boser led UMaine with 27 points on 9-for-12 floor shooting. Amanda Tewksbury posted a double-double with 16 points, 12 rebounds and four steals, while Katia Bratishko added 12 points and six rebounds.
Kristin Baker of Bingham provided six points, six assists and four steals.
Amanda Sharpe paced UNB with 17 points, six rebounds and five assists.