Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sad ending

For the sixth straight season, the Black Bears were eliminated in their first game of the America East tournament.

Sixth-seeded Hartford upset the third-seeded Black Bears 66-63 Saturday night.

UMaine finished the season at 15-15 after having a 14-7 record midway through the league season. The Black Bears lost in familiar fashion, unable to hold a lead and giving up too many easy baskets in critical situations.

The Black Bears have not won an America East tournament game since 2005. UMaine has lost as the No. 3 seed for two straight years.

Genesis Maciel scored a career high 19 points for Hartford. He hit five 3-pointers, the biggest coming late in the game with Hartford clinging to a 1-point lead. The Hawks called timeout and set up a play for Maciel to get a shot on the right wing. He got open and nailed it to give Hartford a 4-point lead.

Hartford entered the game 341st in the country in field goal shooting at 38 percent. Only six teams in all of NCAA Division 1 have a worse team shooting percentage. The Hawks shot 50 percent against the Black Bears.

UMaine shot 52 percent for the game and had five players in double figures, but missed free throws and leaky defense were costly. That and allowing Maciel to have a career night.

As the game ended, Hartford students stormed the floor, pouring salt into the Black Bears' wounds.

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