GORHAM, Maine – Sophomore Jacobe Thomas (Houston, Texas/Davis) scored a career-high 44 points to lead the University of Southern Maine Huskies to an 81-67 win over the Thomas College Terriers in a non-conference men's basketball game Thursday night at Hill Gymnasium.
With the win the Huskies stop a three-game slide and improves to 5-6 overall. Southern Maine is 3-3 at home this season. Suffering its second loss in as many games, Thomas falls to 5-4 with the loss.
Thomas shot a red-hot 57.6 percent (15-for-26) from the field to lead all scorers and was 12-for-15 from the free throw line. Thomas' 44 points is second in USM single-game records and is three-point shy of the all-time single game record of 47 points set by Mike Fennessy against Plymouth State in 1992. Thomas added seven rebounds and four steals. Senior Derek Haney (Auburn, Calif./Placer) added 13 points for the Huskies, knocking down a trio of three-pointers and dishing off three assists. Senior Jay Roberts (Suwanee, Ga./Fanglier) had a game and career-high 17 rebounds, helping Southern Maine to a 44-37 advantage on the glass. Junior Shamon Shinal (Holland, Mich./Grand Rapids Union) had a game-high six assists, adding five rebounds and five points.
Thomas junior Demetris Webster (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) led the Terriers with 21 points shooting an outstanding 5-for-8 from three-point range. Senior Zach Mackinnon (Kennebunk, Maine) added 12 points, while junior Lovegeurson Fleurine (Fort Pierce, Fla./Boyd Anderson) had 11 points and six rebounds. Junior Tyler Nixon (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) had seven points and a team-high 11 boards.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Thomas led early jumping out to a 19-9 lead with 12:09 to play as Webster canned the first of his three first-half three-pointers. USM rattled off a 8-0 run highlighted by a dunk from Thomas and an offensive rebound and a put-back from Roberts to trail 19-17 with 10:15 to play, but the Terriers responded with a 15-4 run to lead 34-21 with 5:35 to play.
- Down by 13, USM closed the gap outscoring TC 13-7 in the final five minutes, including a 6-0 run in the final 2:15 to trail 41-34 at the half. Thomas scored the Huskies' final eight points of the half on a jumper, two layups and a pair of free throws to head into the break with 23 first-half.
- USM opened the second half on a 12-2 run to snag its first lead of the game, 46-43, with 15:24 to play as Haney drilled back-to-back three-pointers. Four straight points on free throws from sophomore Jacob Godfrey (Machias, Maine) and a layup from junior Justin Butler (Orlando, Fla.) returned the lead to the Terriers, 47-46, with 13:20 on the clock, but Haney remained clutch dropping in another three on an assist from Shinal.
- Both teams settled into a back-and-forth contest exchanging the lead over the next three minutes, before a Webster three and a layup from Butler gave Thomas a 61-57 lead with 8:15 to go. Behind by two possessions, Shinal hit a layup on a long distance outlet feed from Roberts to spur on a 10-0 USM run which was highlight by eight consecutive points from Thomas, including a three with 3:12 for a 67-61 Husky lead.
- A jumper from Mackinnon had the Terriers back to within four on the next possession, 67-63, but Thomas took over for the Huskies scoring their next 10 points in a 10-4 run as USM led 77-67 with 45 seconds on the clock. Haney closed out the scoring for USM with easy buckets in the paint for the 81-67 final.
INSIDE THE HUSKY STATS:
- Thomas has scored in double-figures in nine of the Huskies' 11 games. He has scored at least 20 points in six of those game and at least 30 points in four games. His 44 points bests his previous career-high of 38 set against St. Joseph's College on December 1.
- Thomas is one of six USM men's basketball players to score at least 40 points in a game, and the first to do so since the 2017 season when Sean Jany (Westbrook, Maine) collected 42 points at the University of New England.
- Roberts has collected double-digit rebounds the last three games consecutively. His career-high 17 in tonight's game is two better than his previous benchmark of 15 set on December 10.
Southern Maine is off for the semester break and will return to action on December 31 (3:00 pm) at home versus Colby College.