Vincent Eze

BANGOR, Maine — Reserve forward Joey Glynn scored all 10 of his points in the final 10 1/2 minutes of play as the University of Massachusetts Lowell held off the University of Maine 70-61 in an America East men’s basketball game at the Cross Insurance Center on Wednesday night.

Glynn’s first points of the game, a foul-line jumper, erased UMaine’s final lead and tied the game at 51-51 with 10:21 to play.

The 6-foot-6 freshman from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, put UMass Lowell ahead for good by scoring off an offensive rebound with 9:32 remaining, then twice followed in his own misses against UMaine’s zone defense to further advance a 10-2 run that gave the River Hawks a 59-53 advantage with 7 minutes left.

“We struggled a bit in the first half and we needed one of our (bigger) guys to play because we don’t have much depth left with a lot of injuries,” said UML coach Pat Duquette. “It was important that he stepped up.”

UMaine got no closer than four points the rest of the way while absorbing its sixth straight defeat and falling to 5-24 overall, 3-11 in America East.

“We gave up second-chance points in the second half, just easy, bunny, layup putbacks,” said UMaine coach Richard Barron. “Some of that’s the luck of the bounce. Some of that’s effort. Some of that’s our big guys were in foul trouble and we were playing with four guards, and every single one of those contributed to one play where they got two points and that ends up being the difference in the game.”

UMaine is now just one game ahead of New Hampshire in the battle for the conference’s eighth and final playoff berth with two games left. UNH improved its conference record to 2-12 with a 62-58 win at Albany on Wednesday night.

UMaine plays its final home game against Binghamton (8-21, 4-10 AE) at 11 a.m. Saturday before closing out the regular season at UNH next Tuesday.

New Hampshire visits Maryland, Baltimore County (18-13, 10-5 AE) on Saturday before hosting UMaine.

UMass Lowell, which began the night ranked sixth in the conference, improved to 15-15, 7-8 in America East.

“Tough game, both teams played really, really hard. It felt like a playoff atmosphere,” said Duquette. “I just thought there was a stretch in the second half when we were persistent.”

Christian Lutete paced UMass Lowell with a game-high 19 points, while Obadiah Noel added 14 points and Shawn Jones scored 12 as the River Hawks avenged a 78-59 loss to the Black Bears earlier this season.

UMaine, playing its first game since junior forward Andrew Fleming was sidelined for the rest of the season after suffering a concussion and broken left wrist when being hit from behind during a breakaway dunk attempt at Stony Brook last Saturday, was led by Vincent Eze’s 15 points.

Dennis Ashley added 11 points and Vilgot Larsson 10 for the Black Bears.

Lutete, who ranks second among America East scorers this season at 18.5 points per game, nearly matched that amount with 17 points in the first half, but UMaine offset that with balance.

Nine different Black Bears scored — led by Ashley’s nine points — as they played the River Hawks to a 31-31 stalemate during an opening 20 minutes that featured five ties and nine lead changes.

UMaine used its transition defense and offensive patience to force the league’s highest-scoring team into a half-court game. The River Hawks had no fast-break points in the opening half while UMaine managed just two.

Fleming was on the UMaine bench in street clothes for the game.

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...