LOWELL, Mass. — The UMass Lowell River Hawks went on an 15-2 scoring run early in the second half to pull away from the Maine Black Bears and earn an 84-72 men’s basketball victory in America East action Thursday night.
The Black Bears suffered their sixth straight loss and dipped to 5-22 overall and 2-12 in America East while conference newcomer Lowell earned its second win of the season over the Bears while improving to 10-18 overall and 8-8 in the league.
The River Hawks received a strong performance from Antonio Bivins, who recorded 24 points and 12 rebounds. D.J. Mlachnik chipped in with 19 points and five rebounds while Akeem Williams contributed 12 points and five assists. Chad Holley added 10 points and seven assists.
Till Gloger sparked the Black Bears with 20 points on a 10-for-13 effort from the floor. He also grabbed seven rebounds. Xavier Pollard contributed 15 points and seven assists while Shaun Lawton notched 11 points and five assists. Ethan Mackey chipped in with eight points and 11 rebounds.
The Bears used a strong shooting effort from the floor (57 percent, 16 of 28) to battle to a 38-35 halftime lead, but struggled to a 15-of-38 clip (39 percent) in the second half when they were outscored by the River Hawks 49-34.
The River Hawks featured a more consistent shooting performance and finished with a 54 percent effort (28 of 52) from the floor for the game.
The rebounding battle was even with 33 each, but the River Hawks received a boost from their depth as their bench outscored their Maine counterparts 35-11.
After Maine’s Gloger hit a layup to start the second half, the River Hawks rolled to a 15-2 scoring run over the next four minutes en route to a 50-42 lead and never trailed again in the game. Bivins sparked the surge with six points.
The Bears battled over next four minutes, outscoring the River Hawks 11-3 and cutting the lead down to 55-53 with 10:05 remaining. Troy Reid-Knight and Mackey each scored four points in the surge.
The River Hawks responded with a 9-2 run that included a Holley 3-pointer and gave them a secure 63-55 lead with 7:03 left.
Maine concludes its regular season at 2 p.m. Sunday when it hosts the New Hampshire Wildcats at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor before heading to Albany, N.Y., to begin the league playoffs on Saturday, March 8.