|UM-Fort Kent||Oakwood University|
Uniontown, Pennsylvania—The University of Maine at Fort Kent men’s basketball team fell in the semifinals of the USCAA Division I Basketball Championships late Thursday evening, 77-72 to Oakwood University.
The Bengals were up to the task early as Player of the Year, Anthony Knight scored six early points to give his team a 10-6 with 14:27 to go. The offense however got stagnant and Oakwood’s run and gun offense started firing as they reeled 18 of the next 22 points to take a 24-14 lead and forced UMFK to call timeout. The Bengals would respond behind Johnathon Caldwell who caught fire and end the first half on a 23-8 run to take a five point half time advantage.
In the second half, UMFK built a seven point advantage, 47-40 thanks to a driving layup by Knight with 14:27 to go. Oakwood would answer with 10 of the next 12 points scored to take a one point advantage. From there, neither team led by more than three points until the very end. With the score tied at 60 with a little over seven minutes to play, an Oakwood layup would give the Ambassadors a lead they would never again relinquish. UMFK had chances on seven different possessions to either tie or take the lead but couldn’t get a shot to go.
The Bengals shot just 4-22 from three, including 1-15 in the second half. The downfall all year for UMFK was at the free throw line where the team shot just 63% as a team, and it came back to haunt them as they made just 14-28 as a team, including 8-17 in the second half.
Knight led UMFK with a game high 26 points and showed that there was no mistake in the Player of the Year race. The Bengals also got 15 from Troy Williams and 12 from Caldwell, but the two combined to shoot just 3-16 from behind the arc.
UMFK finishes its season at 23-9, the third consecutive year they have won 20 or more games and the second consecutive final four finish at the USCAA National Championships. Knight and fellow seniors, Benson Arogbo, Travis Harlin Jr., and Bobby Syvanthong leave UMFK as they only senior class to have won postseason tournament games.