ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine men followed up one of their worst losses with one of their biggest wins — score-wise — and took out some frustration from a 46-point pounding to Syracuse with a record-breaking win over the University of Maine-Presque Isle Thursday night.
The Black Bears set a school record for points in a 133-58 victory over the NAIA Owls at Memorial Gym.
Maine started fast, scoring the first seven points, taking a 23-point lead midway through the first half with a 12-0 run, and using a 20-2 run to take a 70-19 lead into halftime.
“There was definitely an intimidation factor,” said UMPI’s Ben Rosser, a sophomore guard-forward from Caribou. “But we settled down at halftime and played much more like we’re capable of in the second half.”
The Owls shot 45.2 percent from the floor in the second half after shooting 25 percent in the first.
The Bears evened their record at 4-4 as eight players scored 10 points or more. Sophomore guard Gerald McLemore led the way with 25 on 7-for-11 shooting from 3-point range.
Junior forward Troy Barnies of Auburn had 20 points, seven rebounds and two steals for the Bears.
“I’m kind of a role player who does whatever we need to win,” said Barnies. “But I’m looking forward to being more of a threat as an offensive player.”
Maine forward Murphy Burnatowski had a solid game all around with 13 points, a game-high nine assists and six rebounds in his third start — first at home.
“I wish we could play all our games here. It’s a great atmosphere,” said the freshman from Waterloo, Ontario. “Today, since they’re not as big, I went to the rim a lot more instead of playing out on the arc.”
Maine outshot UMPI 60 to 34.3 percent from the field for the game, outrebounded the Owls 52-32, outscored them 80-30 in the paint, committed eight turnovers while forcing 28, and outscored UMPI 48-4 in points off turnovers.
Other Maine standouts included freshman forward Mike Allison, who had 12 points and eight rebounds coming off the bench. Junior forward Sean McNally had 12 points and seven rebounds with two assists and two steals in 20 minutes.
The 0-5 Owls were led by Kyle Corrigan. The sophomore guard from Caribou had 20 points and hit 5 of 7 from 3-point range.
Junior swingman Ray Mitchell was held 16 points below his per-game scoring average with four points, but had a game-high nine rebounds to go with five assists.
Maine started out with man-to-man defensive pressure and harried the Owls into 18 first half turnovers, but then switched to a 3-2 zone for much of the second half while trying different schemes, substitutions and rotations with the game safely in hand.