ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine men’s basketball team has some things to figure out heading into the early part of its 2012-13 season.
Establishing a post presence isn’t one of them.
Alasdair Fraser dominated around the basket at both ends of the court Saturday, providing 22 points and 18 rebounds to power the Black Bears to a 73-40 exhibition win over Acadia University at Memorial Gym.
Fraser, a junior forward from Falkirk, Scotland, had 18 points on 9-for-10 shooting and 14 rebounds in the first half as coach Ted Woodward’s Black Bears began to pull away.
“Ali really kept us where we needed to go,” Woodward said. “I thought he really had a tremendous game, start to finish.”
Fraser’s inside presence, and a determined overall effort on the glass, helped UMaine register a 59-42 rebounding advantage.
Already leading 36-21 at the break, the Bears stormed out of the locker room. UMaine scored the first 12 points of the second half in less than four minutes to take command.
Sophomore point guard Xavier Pollard scored the first two baskets, one of a driving reverse layup and the other on a close-range hoop off a feed from sophomore guard Justin Edwards. Both came off Acadia turnovers.
“He’ll be running the show and then he’ll just come out of nowhere and have four to eight points in a row,” Fraser said. “It’s useful to have that from your point guards.”
Edwards then kicked it into high gear. He hit a finger roll off a pass from Fraser, then scored off a back-door cut on a pass from Pollard before he dunked on a rebound to give UMaine a 46-21 lead with 16:33 to play.
“I think we just turned up the intensity in the second half, got lots of steals,” Edwards said. “We trapped down on their big, on Owen [Klassen], and he had like 11 turnovers.”
Edwards contributed 19 points, three assists and two steals for the Bears, who overcame 4-for-22 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc with tenacious offensive rebounding and a strong transition attack.
Pollard finished with seven points, four assists and two steals and freshman point guard Shaun Lawton chipped in with five points, six rebounds and five assists. Freshman Till Gloger had seven boards.
Anthony Ashe paced Acadia with 17 points, including four 3-pointers, along with nine rebounds, four steals and two assists. Owen Klassen posted eight points, nine rebounds and six blocked shots, but committed 11 turnovers.
The Axemen had 21 turnovers and the Bears finished with 13.
UMaine’s physicality in the paint was the difference in helping the Bears forge a 36-21 halftime advantage.
Fraser took advantage of his nifty jump hook to hit nine of 10 shots from the field and also grabbed a full game’s worth of rebounds (14).
However, the Bears had some trouble guarding Acadia’s guards off the dribble. The Axemen attacked the basket frequently, only to come away with missed shots.
“I didn’t think we were executing the way we were capable of,” Woodward said of the first half. “I thought the ball wasn’t moving as crisply as we have been moving it. I thought defensively we had some breakdowns that we weren’t used to having.”
The Axemen hung around behind four 3-pointers from Ashe, but weren’t able to establish any kind of effective post game.
UMaine used a 14-6 run late in the half to open up a bit of a cushion. Fraser scored eight points and added a steal to fuel the spurt.