Monday, January 19, 2009

Black Bears 78, New Hampshire 75 2OT

Trailing by six with 54 seconds left in regulation, the Black Bears rallied to force overtime Monday night. Both teams traded big-shots through two overtime periods before host UMaine withstood several last-ditch three-point attempts by New Hampshire and held on for a key America East victory.

Scoreless for much of the game, freshman guard Gerald McLemore made several huge shots down the stretch for the Black Bears (8-11, 3-3 America East) and finished with a team-high 17 points. He was one of five Bears in double figures. Tyrece Gibbs (22 points, 8 rebounds) and Dane DiLiegro (12 points, 12 rebounds) paced the Wildcats (7-9, 2-2).

The win is the second straight for the Black Bears and puts them smack-dab in the middle of the America East standings. Just ahead of UMaine is Boston University, which visits Alfond Arena Sunday.

After a UMaine turnover, the Wildcats had possession and a 61-55 advantage with 57 seconds left in the regulation. It didn't look good, but the Black Bears followed up with three straight clutch defensive plays.

Mark Socoby stole the ball then scored on a return assist from Gerald McLemore. Junior Bernal followed that up with a steal and hoop with 49 seconds to go, cutting the UNH lead to two. After a Black Bears timeout, Malachi Peay got into the act, coming up with another steal with just 15 seconds on the clock. After consecutive timeouts, one by each club, McLemore sent the crowd of 1,083 into a frenzy and the game to overtime with a hoop with 6 seconds showing.

Bernal (pictured) had a huge all-around game for the Black Bears with nine points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals. Sean McNally battled with DiLiegro all night and had a double-double to show for it with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Also in double figures were Malachi Peay (12 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals), Kaimondre Owes (11 points) and Socoby (11 points).

UMaine won despite a tough night at the free throw line (23 for 37, 63 percent). New Hampshire, which had 20 more three-point attempts than the Black Bears also struggled at the stripe, making only 3 of 12 attempts (25 percent).


MattT said...

So what are the chances of knocking off BU on Sunday? They like to shoot the 3 ball and they hit about 42% of them. Maine is going to have to play their best game and will have to be stellar on defense (EXTEND THE ZONE!) Malachai may be able match up with Holland, but Corey Lowe is a bad match up for Maine's guards.

Dan King said...

Holland is very similar to Albany's Will Harris, except I think Holland has a little better offensive ability right now. If Holland and Lowe both have strong games, it'll be bad news for Bears. I don't think we have a very good match-up for either of them. It's going to take a team effort to help limit them. BU is wounded, but dangerous. If Black Bears can get this one, it gives us a little breathing room for two games on the road. Will be interesting to see if Black Bears confidence grows and they become more consistent.