ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine men’s basketball team used four double-figure scoring efforts, led by Dimitry Akanda-Coronel‘s 22-point effort, to defeat Laval University 88-79 in exhibition action Friday evening at Memorial Gym.
Xavier Pollard chipped in with 19 points for Maine, Zarko Valijarevic added 15 and Garet Beal netted 11.
Pollard also had seven rebounds, four assists and five steals. Beal also notched four assists.
Akanda-Coronel helped the Black Bears jump out of the gate, starting an early 5-0 run with a three from the right wing. A block from Marko Pirovic on the defensive side led to a layup from Pollard as Maine gained its largest lead of the half, 17-10.
Laval answered back as it put together a 10-3 run, capped by a steal on its own end from Thibaud Dezutter. A quick lay-in off the turnover from Dezutter gave the Red and Gold a 22-20 lead with 12:08 to play in the half.
Late in the first half with the Black Bears leading by four after a layup from Akanda-Coronel, the Red and Gold staged a 9-4 run, keyed by three-point buckets by Karl Demers-Belanger and Nicolas Begin, to take a 37-36 advantage with 3:10 to play in the half.
Pirovic ended the Maine run by knocking down a pair of late free throws as Maine regained its lead, 38-37. The half ended 40-all.
Maine came out on fire in the second half as it opened with a 10-0 run to take a 50-40 lead 2:22 in en route to the win with Beal making two baskets off steals.
Maine opens its regular season at the University of Rhode Island at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
UMFK teams in national finals
At Charleston, W.Va., the University of Maine at Fort Kent women’s soccer team defeated Alfred State College (NY) 2-1to advance to their fourth straight USCAA National Championship game Friday. The No. 1 Lady Bengals (16-1-1) will face the winner of the late semifinal between defending champ No. 2 Daemen College (NY) and No. 6 Albany College of Pharmacy (NY) at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Freshman forward Marie-Laurence Montagne gave UMFK a 1-0 lead just 59 seconds into the game as she danced around the Alfred State defense and chipped an unassisted goal into the back of the net for the game’s’ first goal. Katherine Ferland then added the eventual game winner 83 minutes later when she rifled a hard shot off ASC keeper Krista DeCarlo’s (6 saves, 8 shots) hands.
Alfred State’s Hannah Holmok scored on a penalty kick off a UMFK hand ball in the box in the 88th minute but Kimika Forbes (5 saves, 6 shots) kept ASC off the board for the remainder of the contest.
In the men’s contest, UMFK broke open an early 2-1 advantage in the game’s first 10 minutes by scoring three unanswered goals. Kennard Brown scored twice and Jamie Cleland picked up the win in net for UMFK.