Wednesday, February 18, 2009

UMaine (9-16, 4-8) at New Hampshire (10-14, 5-7)

Thursday, Feb. 19, 7 p.m.

Tonight's game begins a four-game stretch in which the Black Bears have an opportunity to earn their way out of the play-in game of the America East tournament. Because UMaine has been unable to take care of business on the home floor, they'll have to do it the hard way as the club plays three of its final four games on the road.

New Hampshire enters the game in fifth place and coming off a wire-to-wire, 78-59, victory at Albany. The eighth-place Black Bears have had a week off after dusting Hartford to snap a five-game losing streak. The skid immediately followed a double-overtime win over UNH.

A win tonight would vault UMaine two spots to sixth-place in the standings.

Probable starters

New Hampshire
G - Tyrece Gibbs, 6-3, Sr. ... Fourth active scorer in America East
G - Alvin Abreu, 6-2, So. ... 12. 7 points a game
G - Tyrone Conley, 6-3, So. ... 8.8 points
C - Dane Diliegro, 6-8, So. ... 5.4 ppg, 7 rebounds, fifth in AE
F - Radar Onguetou, 6-5, So. ... 5 points, 5.3 rebounds
Wildcat notes
Eric Gilchrese, a 6-foot senior guard, averages 9 points. Rony Tchatchoua, a 6-6 sophomore forward, provides frontcourt depth ... UNH loves to shoot the three and set season highs for shooting percentage and three-point shooting in its win at Albany ... Gibbs is leading scorer at 13.8 a game ... Wildcats were first America East team to outrebound Albany.
G - Junior Bernal, 6-5, Jr. ... Coming off six-assist effort vs. Hartford
G - Mark Socoby, 6-6, Jr. ... Needs 27 for 1,000 career points
G - Gerald McLemore, 6-3, Fr. ... Second in scoring among freshmen
F - Sean McNally, 6-7, So. ... Third in AE with five double-doubles
F - Malachi Peay, 6-6, So. ... Needs to avoid bad fouls
Black Bear notes
This tilt may well come down to who gets more production off the bench ... Bears need forward Troy Barnies and guards Kaimondre Owes and Andrew Rogers to provide some punch ... A win gives UM a season sweep.

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