Lamont Furnace, Pennsylvania--The top seed, University of Maine at Fort Kent Men's Basketball team has advanced to the semifinals of the 2017 USCAA Division I National Championships, with a 76-63 over #8 Dean College in an extremely physical matchup that saw the teams combined to take 48 free throws. This was the first victory in program history at the USCAA tournament. The Bengals move to 23-8 on the season.
Dean threw everything they had at UMFK, and neither team had a lead larger than five points in the first half. The Bulldogs hit back to back threes to open the second half and took a 38-34 lead with 17:52 to go. After a UMFK timeout, the Bengals would go on a 17-4 run, thanks to seven points by Rosevelt Smith Jr.
Dean would cut the lead back to three points, 55-52 with a little over eight minutes to go, but the Bengals ended the game on a 21-11 run to secure their spot in the final four.
UMFK held Dean 23 points under their season average and allowed the Bulldogs to shoot just 29% from the floor. UMFK also out rebounded their athletic opponents, 56-49.
The Bengals were led by Joe McCloskey who had 28 points and 15 rebounds. Travis Harlin nearly had a triple double with 15 points, nine rebounds and a career and UMFK season high, seven blocks. The Bengals interior defense was utterly dominate as they blocked a season high 14 shots.
Benson Arogbo played a huge part of the defensive effort, with 11 of his 12 boards coming on the defensive end. He also contributed 10 points and four blocked shots. Smith Jr. finished with another double-double, 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Dean was led by point guard Dayvon Russel's 14 points but leading scorer Naquawn Solomon was held to six points, nearly 14 under his average.
UMFK will face off against #4 seed Illinois Tech on Thursday evening at 8pm.