In this weekend’s basketball action, the University of Maine at Fort Kent men’s and women’s teams took on Aroostook country rival, University of Maine Presque Isle. The women managed a split after each team won on the opposition’s home floor, while the men were swept by the Owls for the second straight season.
In the women’s action, it was the tale of two defensive efforts. On Friday night the Bengals did not defend the three point line and UMPI hit seven second half long range bombs, to beat up on UMFK, 71-53. The Owls outscored UMFK 39-21 in the second half to break a tie game wide open. The Bengals shot just 29% from the floor and had 15 turnovers.
On Saturday afternoon, the Lady Bengal jumped on the Owls early, and eight points at the break, 34-26 as Ranika Guyton started strong with 10 of her 30 in the first quarter. UMPI was ice-cold from long range and shot just 2-10 in the first half. In the third quarter, the Bengals had a scare put into them as UMPI soared all the way back to take a one point lead heading into the final quarter. Guyton then took over, scoring the first eight of the fourth and the Bengals never looked back, extending the lead to as many as 14 late and won 74-61 to manage the split on the year with the Owls.
In the men’s games, the Bengals showed some rust after not playing a game for over 380 calendar days. Saturday afternoon in the first of a back-to-back doubleheader, UMFK fought for 40 minutes but just couldn’t get over a second half hump in which the Bengals battled back down eight midway through the half to tie it at 51 on a Mekhi Foreman three-point play. The game was never more than three points the rest of the way, but the Owls were the ones with the constant advantage. After a steal in the backcourt, down three, Julian Hymes had a chance to tie but missed a desperation three. UMFK turned the ball over 23 times on the afternoon, just giving too many chances to UMPI. Foreman led the Bengals with 22 points and Hymes was close behind with 20.
Sunday afternoon’s game was a different story. The game was never in doubt as a tired, heavy legged Bengal team could never get it going. UMPI jumped out to an early 8-3 lead, but two Brandon Ruaro three’s and a Hymes three-point play, gave the Bengals their only lead at 9-8 with 17:06 remaining. The Owls then went on a run of 14-2 and never looked back. UMFK shot just 29% from the floor and were outrebounded 45-29. Ruaro led the Bengals with 15 points and three steals. Foreman also chipped in 15, but shot just 7-23 as he and Hymes combined for a dismal 9-39 from the floor.
UMFK will be back in action next weekend in Bangor as both teams will take on University of Maine Augusta. The women will play Saturday and the men on Sunday. Both games will tip off at 3:00pm at UMA’s Bangor campus.