BIDDEFORD, Maine – Alex Kravchuck scored a game-high 24 points and the University of New England Nor'easters stayed just ahead of the University of Southern Maine Huskies to earn an 81-73 win in a non-conference men's basketball game Tuesday night at Harold Alfond Arena.
The win is the first of the season for UNE which evens its record at 1-1. Southern Maine, playing in its season-opener, starts the 2019-2020 season at 0-1.
Kravchuck was one of three UNE players in double-figures shooting 6-for-10 from the field (3-for-6 from three) and 9-for-11 from the free throw line. He added seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. Ric Castillo added 11 points and five rebounds, shooting 5-for-8 from the floor, while Ray Evans added 10 points.
Southern Maine had a well-balanced attack in its opener with four players reaching double-digits in scoring led by 15 points from sophomore Jacobe Thomas (Houston, Texas / Benjamin O. Davis). Junior DJ Anderson (Houston, Texas / Davis) added 12 points, while seniors Keenan Hendricks (Owls Head, Maine / Oceanside) and Derek Haney (Auburn, Calif. / Placer) tossed in 11 points each. Freshman Cameron Wood (Winthrop, Maine / Winthrop) had a strong collegiate debut with eight points and a team-high 12 rebounds. Seven of Wood's rebounds were on the offensive glass. Anderson added six rebounds and two assists, while Hendricks and Thomas each had four assists.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The first half saw a lot of back-and-forth action between the two teams with neither team leading by more than two possessions. Down three (34-31) to the Nor'easters after a layup from Castillo (4:23), Anderson drained a three for the Huskies to knot the score up.
- With the scored tied at 34, both teams exchanged baskets and a jumper from USM's Haney made it 38-38 with 2:29 to play before UNE took the final five points of the half to lead at the break 43-38. Kravchuck hit a three as time expired to give the Nor'easters the five-point advantage.
- Hendricks hit a three to start the second half for USM pulling the Huskies to within a possession, 43-41 (18:03), but UNE responded with a 5-1 min-run to go up by two possessions, 48-42, with 16:52 to play and remained in front of the Huskies by at least two possessions the rest of the contests.
INSIDE THE STATS:
- Southern Maine shot well from the field connecting on 26-of-62 from the field (41.9 percent), including 50.0 percent from three-point range (9-for-18). Hendricks had three three-pointers on 3-for-5 shooting, while Anderson had two on 2-for-4 shooting.
- Both teams were even on the rebounds at 37-37. Wood led all rebounders with 12 for the Huskies.
- Southern Maine's bench combined to score 31 points to UNE's 23. Thomas led the Husky reserves with his team high 15 points.
Southern Maine heads to Thomas College this weekend for the Thomas Tip Off Tournament. The Huskies will face UMaine Fort Kent on Friday (5:30 pm) and then take on UMaine Machias on Saturday (12:00 pm).