HAMILTON, N.Y. — Junior guard Terrance Mitchell hit four 3-pointers in the last 15 minutes and 6 of 8 overall en route to a game-high 24 points to help the University of Maine men’s basketball team rally from a nine-point deficit and beat Colgate 76-66 at Cottrell Court Thursday night.
Maine evened its record to 3-3 and Colgate fell to 0-7.
Junior forward Sean McNally of Gardiner also had a solid game for the Bears with 20 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks.
“The big difference tonight was getting in the open court and getting our fast break going,” said Maine head coach Ted Woodward. “And the whole key, despite some of the guys who had big nights for us, was the way our defense came up with some big stops and limited their good looks.”
Colgate went on a 10-0 run early in the second half and led the Bears 42-33 with 14:33 to play, but guard Junior Bernal scored all seven of his points in a 12-3 Maine scoring run lasting three minutes that tied it up (45-45) with 12 minutes left.
Mitchell got red hot, scoring eight of Maine’s next 10 points and giving Maine a 55-51 lead with 8:06 to play. Mitchell and McNally combined to score 15 straight points for the Black Bears and give them a 62-57 lead with five minutes to play.
“I just thought we had a nice sequence where we had some good defensive stops, rebounds, and were able to get out in transition in the open court,” Woodward said.
Sophomore guard Gerald McLemore finished with 11 points as the Bears outshot the Raiders 47.7 to 35.4 percent from the field.
“The good thing about having some outside shooters and guys who can drive is you have to pick how you’re going to play us,” said Woodward. “There’ll be nights they try to take us on inside or nights they try to take away our outside shooting.”
That wasn’t the case Thursday as Maine shot 43.8 percent (7-for-16) from beyond the 3-point arc to Colgate’s 35.4-percent (3-for-20) effort.
The Raiders were paced by Ben Jonson and Yaw Gyawu, who each scored 17 points and five boards. Kyle Roemer finished with 13 points and six rebounds.
The Raiders outrebounded Maine 36-32 and each team committed 10 turnovers.
“We did a solid job on the road with only two turnovers in the first half,” said Woodward. “We’re doing a better job of handling the basketball and we shot much better tonight.”
Freshman forward Murphy Burnatowski came off the bench to give the Bears an offensive lift a second straight game with seven points while fellow Canadian freshman Mike Allison added four.
“We got a number of quality contributions tonight up and down the lineup and guys picking other guys up,” Woodward said. “And that’s starters and subs alike.”
Maine now leads the overall series with Colgate 19-4.
Maine remains on the road for a game at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y., against the No. 7-ranked Syracuse Orangemen Saturday night.