Sunday, February 22, 2009

Albany 80, Black Bears 69

The America East play-in game is set. The Black Bears and Hartford will square off Friday night, March 6 at 7 p.m. to open the league tournament. The winner, most likely, will get Binghamton in the quarterfinals. The Bearcats will secure the No. 1 seed with a win at home against UMBC next week.

This is the second consecutive year the Black Bears will take part in the play-in round. Last year, UMaine lost to Stony Brook. The last time UMaine made consecutive play-in apperances was 1997 and 1998.

Against Albany, UMaine led by as many as nine points (at least it wasn't double-digits) twice in the first half, but yielded a 10-0 run in the final two minutes to trail 35-34 at the break.

UMaine went up 56-52 midway through the second frame, but Albany poured it on, went on a 20-2 run, and closed out the visitors.

For at least the fifth time this season, UMaine yielded a career high point total to an opponent. Albany's Jerel Hastings, starting due to injuries and a suspension and because it was senior day, had a career-best 19 points. His 10 rebounds were also a career high-water mark.

Since opening the league season with a 3-3 record, UMaine has gone 1-7. The Black Bears are 9-18 overall, 4-10 America East. Albany (14-13, 6-8) stopped a five-game losing streak and moved into a fifth-place tie. If the tourney started today, the Great Danes would be the sixth seed.

Sean McNally had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Black Bears. Junior Bernal had 16 points and six rebounds. Troy Barnies added 15 points and Gerald McLemore 14.


MattT said...

Same ole same ole Black Bears. On a positive spin, it is nice to see the younger guys stepping up their offensive games and Socoby taking fewer shots and shooting a decent percentage. Maine has got to improve their defense, in particular Troy Barnies and Sean McNally. They need to play tougher, more physical defense. It is OK to commit a hard foul once in awhile and make the opponent think twice when they get the ball on the block. In the UNH game, I saw a lot of "matador" defense on their part. You simply cannot let a guy like Dane DiLegro stand wide open on the baseline to catch lobs and have free lanes for open dunks. As a player you have to take that personally. This guy can't shoot 5 feet from the hoop, put a body on him. In today's game Maine's inside duo allowed immortals Jerel Hastings and Brett Gifford to combine for about 30 points. That can't happen if you want to be something more than a play-in team. Maine needs to grow up and get physically and mentally tougher.

thepit said...

We're kind of like the guy who sticks his finger in the levee to stop the leak. We plug up one or two holes and then forget about a couple other areas.
It's one more sign of a bad team.
It's also time to quit talking about the future and solve the problems now. The deficiencies don't get solved just because the players get older. You just have older players making the same mistakes ... witness the past three/four years. To say that the Black Bears' problems are youth related is to ignore the fact that we've been inconsistent with veteran players and we've been inconsistent with young players.
It's all excuses.
We've allowed five players to score career highs against this year. Five. The last two are particularly embarrasing.
Diliegro and Hastings. Hastings was only starting because it was senior day and Will Brown suspended a player and two others were out with injuries.
I've never seen a team that has such a fragile psyche as the Black Bears the past couple years. A couple things go wrong and we slink off like a dog that's been beat too much.
Very rarely do we respond.