Friday, January 30, 2009

UMaine (8-13, 3-5) at Binghamton (12-8, 5-3)

Saturday, Jan. 31, 2 p.m.
Both teams enter the game coming off losses in which they held substantial leads. The Bearcats led by 17 at UMBC before tumbling, 84-78. The Black Bears visit Vestal on the heels of a 10-point loss at Vermont (after leading by 10 in the first half) and an 11-point loss at home to Boston U. (after leading by 18 in the first half). ... Binghamton is playing without third-leading scorer Dwayne Jackson (11.7 ppg), who was suspended indefinitely a little more than a week ago. He scored 12 points in the Bearcats' 70-62 win in Orono this year. ... Binghamton has led America East in attendance for five straight seasons and is well on its way to making it six straight, averaging 3,184.

Probable starters:

G - D.J. Rivera, 6-4, Jr. ... St. Joe's transfer America East's top scorer
G - Malik Alvin, 6-0, Jr. ... Nephew of football legend, the late Walter Payton
G - Tiki Mayben, 6-3, Jr. ... Well-traveled with multiple NCAA stops
F - Reggie Fuller, 6-6, Sr. ... Fourth on league shooting chart
C - Kyrie Sutton, 6-9, Fr. ... Provides size, but Bearcats go small a lot
Bearcat leaders
Rivera (20.2 points, 6 rebounds); Fuller (8.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg); Alvin (12.2 ppg, 4.3 assists); Mayben (8.8 ppg, 4.2 apg)
Black Bears
F - Sean McNally, 6-7, Soph. ... Anchor on the interior
F - Malachi Peay, 6-6, Soph. ... A legit key to Bears' fortunes
G - Mark Socoby, 6-6, Jr. ... Strong game last time out
G - Junior Bernal, 6-5, Jr. ... Toughness is needed on the floor
G - Gerald McLemore, 6-3, Fr. ... Not a freshman anymore
Black Bears bench
When Kaimondre Owes, Troy Barnies, Svetoslav Chetinov and Andrew Rogers provide productive minutes, UMaine is loads better. They must contribute valuable minutes for UMaine to improve and begin winning more games.


MattT said...

When will Maine show up for a second half? It is frustrating to watch this team play so well in the first of games only to implode in the 2nd. The opposing coaches are certainly making the necessary halftime adjustments. Maine seems to lack a killer instinct when they have a lead. They need to stay on the attack and continue to harrass the opponent on defense. They have obviously shown me the raw materials are in place and players are developing rather than regressing. Ted Woodward seems to have good game plans and the players seem prepared but in game management is sorely lacking. He needs to be able to put these kids in position to win. During a run, call a timeout, get things organized and stop the bleeding...put the other team on their heels with a defensive adjustment or target a favorable matchup and find a way to exploit it. What is your take on Woodward? Can he get the job done or has he run out of chances? In my opinion, he needs to string wins together and make the conference semi's or he should be history. I would like to see someone with Maine ties who is familiar with the program get a shot. Any ideas?

thepit said...

We've also done the reverse many times, i.e., fall behind early and then fight like mad to come back in a game. The common thread is that these "dead zones" occur regularly whether it's early, midway or at the end. The Bears seem close to turning that around and then here it comes again. It's like Groundhog Day.
Schools typically wait until after the season to do the evaluating and I'm sure that's the situation here. We're all rooting for Ted and the program to get it together. They did a good job re-tooling the roster in one year, but now it's time for more consistency. This is not a young team anymore. I've seen every team in the leauge now, and there's no reason we shouldn't be in the mix somewhere instead of fighting to stay out of the basement. I like what Ted's trying to do with the program and I think they deserve more support than they've gotten from the hoops community as a whole, but really, winning is the only thing that brings in fans ... whether they are Maine kids or not. I'm looking forward to these next three home games. We need to beat Stony, then beat UMBC and then beat UHart. We've lost far, far too many home games in the past several years. That needs to be corrected. And fast.