|Central Maine Community College||Southern Maine CC|
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine— The Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) men’s basketball team tarnished rival Central Maine Community College’s (CMCC) Yankee Small College Conference (YSCC) record in handing the Mustangs their first loss of the season by a score of 76-67 on Wednesday.
Prior to tip-off, SMCC Athletics recognized one student-manager and four student-athletes who were participating in their final regular season home game: Zach Masiello, Keanyon Lambert (Manchester, N.H.), Chase Soares (Falmouth, Mass.), Michael Harmon (Portland, Maine), and captain John Morgan (Sanford, Maine).
Like the perfect script, Morgan led all scorers in the game pouring in 24 points in his double-double effort with 13 rebounds. Soares tallied a double-double of his own netting 18 points and a season-high 11 rebounds. Sophomore Ryan Cloutier (Pelham, N.H.) finished in double figures with 12 points, adding five assists in 34 minutes of play, and sophomore Dylan Silvestri (Pelham, N.H.) finished with 10.
Only tying the score on their first bucket of the game, the Mustangs never held a lead. The HUB was electric from tip-off as the SeaWolves opened up on a 10-2 run and finished the first half outscoring their opponent 42-26.
SMCC held a 24-point lead, its largest of the night, midway through the second half. The Mustangs closed their deficit to six with 4:31 remaining in regulation, until Cloutier delivered a straight-a-way three pointer to give his team a much needed momentum swing. The SeaWolves closed out the game making four of five free-throws to pick up their 20th win of the season.
Although Central Maine shot a better percentage from the floor, the difference came on the glass as the SeaWolves out-rebounded their counterpart 51-35, and 19-8 offensively.
In a post-game interview, Head Coach Matt Richards reflected, “I thought our overall effort by our guys was outstanding in recognizing the significance of the game. I’m really proud of our players for sending the seniors out in style. To make the victory sweeter, it was against our in-state rivals giving them their first loss in Yankee play. This win really puts our team in a great position going into the tournament with home victories against all the remaining playoff teams.”
View the photo gallery of the game HERE.
View the photo gallery of the seniors HERE.
The SMCC men improve to 12-2 in conference play, and 20-5 overall having already locked up the second seed going into the YSCC Elite 8 Tournament. Central Maine will play New Hampshire Technical Institute (NHTI) on Friday, Feb. 10— the winner taking the one-seed.