ALBANY, N.Y. — It went to the final buzzer, but the University of Maine failed to get off the last shot Saturday night as the University at Albany held on for a 76-75 men’s basketball victory at SEFCU Arena.
Coach Ted Woodward’s Black Bears slipped to 8-7 overall, 2-2 in league play, while suffering their second straight loss.
UMaine returns to action Monday night at Vermont.
The Great Danes (12-7, 5-1 America East) did what they do best and that’s get to the foul line. The hosts went 24-for-29 and outscored the Bears by six from the stripe.
Albany outrebounded UMaine 42-36.
Freshman Justin Edwards propelled the Bears with 19 points, including 9-for-10 free-throw shooting. He added five rebounds, two assists and a steal.
McLemore tossed in 17 points. Mike Allison posted 12 points and five rebounds and Kilian Cato chipped in with 11 points.
The Bears were hampered by foul trouble to sophomore post player Alasdair Fraser, who managed only four points and four rebounds and fouled out in 13 minutes of action.
The Bears were again without backup center Svetoslav Chetinov, who has been out with an injury.
Gerardo Suero, the league’s leading scorer, poured in 26 points to pace Albany. He went 14-for-16 from the foul line and posted four assists and three steals.
Mike Black scored 15 points, Luke Devlin contributed 13 points and nine rebounds and Logan Aronhalt netted 12 points.
UMaine led by five points late in the second half by virtue of a 5-0 burst. McLemore sank two foul shots, then he fed Cato for a 3-pointer that gave the Bears a 69-64 edge with 5:23 to play.
It wasn’t enough of a cushion.
Devlin made a jumper at the 4:11 mark, then Suero scored off his own offensive rebound and added the free throw to tie it at 71-71.
The Bears went up 73-71 on a McLemore jumper, but two Suero free throws evened things up with 1:58 left. Devlin then picked off a Raheem Singleton pass and fed Black for a bucket from the lane.
John Puk’s foul shot with 1:07 left provided the eventual winning margin, as Edwards’ offensive rebound hoop with 45 seconds remaining were UMaine’s last points.
The Great Danes led 38-37 at halftime behind nine points from Suero.
McLemore scored 10 points and Edwards provided nine in the first half for the Bears, who were outrebounded 25-15 and allowed offensive boards that helped the hosts extend possessions and put more points on the scoreboard.
UMaine got only five minutes out of Fraser, who picked up three first-half fouls in addition to four points.
Albany led by as many as eight points (15-7) in the early going, but UMaine put together an 8-1 run that gave them a short-lived 17-16 lead. Edwards and Xavier Pollard each scored four points during the spurt for the Bears.