Sergio El Darwich scored four points in the second overtime and the University of Maine went 6-for-6 from the foul line in the period to grind out a 75-68 men’s basketball victory over Fordham at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Tuesday night.
Former Oxford Hills of South Paris star Andrew Fleming poured in a career-high 29 points and pulled down 12 rebounds to pace coach Richard Barron’s Black Bears, who earned their first win of the season.
Fleming shot 11-for-14 from the field, including 4-for-5 from the 3-point arc, and contributed three assists and a blocked shot for UMaine (1-8). Isaiah White posted 10 points and three assists, Vincent Eze registered nine points and eight rebounds and Vilgot Larsson added eight points.
The Black Bears shot a season-best 54 percent from the floor (23-for-43) while hitting eight of 18 3-pointers (44 percent). They also converted 21 of 27 free throws to outscore the Rams from the foul line.
UMaine overcame 23 turnovers that led directly to 18 points by Fordham of the Atlantic 10 Conference (6-2). The visitors had only 10 turnovers.
Jalen Cobb paced a balanced offense for the Rams with 18 points, Nick Honor tallied 16 points and Jesse Bunting provided 12 points and nine rebounds. Fordham shot 38 percent (23-for-61) overall and hit nine 3-pointers, but connected on only 31 percent from long distance.
Ivan Raut had given the Rams a 63-60 lead with 1:46 remaining in the first overtime, but Fleming fed Eze for a dunk with 33 seconds left that got UMaine within a point. Fordham failed to extend the lead when Antwon Portley missed two free throws at the 23-second mark and Eze wound up tying the game when he made the back end of a two-shot foul with 11 seconds remaining to help force a second five-minute OT.
The Black Bears grabbed the lead for good in the second overtime on two Eze foul shots that made it 69-68 with 54 seconds left. Terion Moss of Portland sank two free throws after a missed 3-pointer by Nick Honor, then Ilija Stojiljkovic made two more free throws after another missed 3 by Honor to give Umaine a 73-68 lead with 13 seconds remaining.
The contest featured 11 lead changes and 10 ties, with Fordham building an early 17-6 advantage that was the largest of the game.
UMaine returns to action Saturday with a 2 p.m. non-conference game at Dartmouth.