Edwards scores 30 as Black Bears edge Northeastern

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff
Posted Nov. 28, 2012, at 10:37 p.m.

BOSTON — Sophomore guard Justin Edwards scored a career-high 30 points, including a crucial layup with 18 seconds left off an Xavier Pollard steal and pass, and the University of Maine men’s basketball team held off Northeastern 76-73 Wednesday night.

Maine improved to 2-4 with its second straight win, while Northeastern fell to 4-3.

The Black Bears, who trailed by seven early in the second half, used a 16-2 run later in the half to build a 70-59 lead with 4:56 remaining.

Edwards, Pollard and Alasdair Fraser had five points each during the run.

The Huskies rallied with a 12-2 run to pull within 74-73 on a Demetrius Pollard free throw with 45 seconds left.

But Pollard missed his second free throw and Kilian Cato grabbed the rebound for Maine.

The Bears turned the ball over, but Xavier Pollard stole the ball with 21 seconds left and fed Edwards for his layup which represented Maine’s first basket in 3:58.

NU’s Quincy Ford missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Edwards went 11-for-12 from the floor en route to his game-high 30 points and also had five rebounds and two assists.

Edwards said he noticed he had his shooting touch early in the game “and I just wanted to keep it going.”

He also said Pollard’s steal was “definitely a key play because they could have come down and taken the lead.”

Fraser finished with 20 points and four rebounds before fouling out.

Jon Mesghna contributed nine points and six rebounds, and Pollard had eight points and a game-high seven assists.

Joel Smith’s 19 points and three assists paced NU. Reggie Spencer had 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, Ford chipped in with 14 points and eight rebounds, and Demetrius Pollard had 12 points.

“It was a tremendous win,” said Maine coach Ted Woodward. “Justin had a tremendous game and we received contributions from a lot of people. We had three starters foul out. A lot of players made plays down the stretch.”

“We got a lot of offense off our defense,” added Woodward. “We moved the basketball around well.”

He said his team didn’t rebound well in the first half, so he challenged them at halftime and they responded with a strong second half on the boards.

Maine outrebounded NU 18-9 in the second half after being outrebounded 23-17 in the first 20 minutes.

Maine also regained its shooting touch.

The Black Bears shot 59.2 percent from the floor and 37.5 percent from beyond the 3-point arc after entering the game shooting 38.1 percent and 18.8 percent, respectively.

“We’ve worked on our shooting a lot,” said Woodward.

Maine will travel to Pittsburgh to play 3-3 Duquesne University on Saturday at 2.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/11/28/sports/edwards-scores-29-as-black-bears-edge-northeastern/ printed on December 26, 2014