ORONO - All five starters scored in double figures as the University of Maine men's basketball team defeated the University of Maryland - Baltimore County 81-66 on Saturday afternoon in the Alfond Arena. Maine improves to 7-8 overall and 2-0 in America East play while UMBC falls to 2-13 and 0-2 in league play. Jon Mesghna (Frankfurt, Germany) was Maine's America East Player of the Game with 16 points and five rebounds.
After UMBC had cut into the Maine lead to make it 64-61 Black Bears with 4:22 remaining, Maine responded with an 11-to-3 run capped by a pair of Xavier Pollard (Bronx, N.Y.) free throws with 1:52 left to push the game out of reach of the Retrievers.
Maine took a 37-29 halftime lead courtesy of an 18-to-4 run the final seven minutes of the half with 12 points coming from Mesghna.
Mesghna led Maine in the first stanza with the 12 points and added three rebounds. Justin Edwards (Whitby, Ontario) added eight points, including an impressive alley-oop dunk from Pollard in the first half.
The Black Bears pushed the lead to 56-42 midway through the second half, but the pesky Retrievers fought their way back until Maine went on the late run to seal the win.
Alasdair Fraser (Falkirk, Scotland) had 17 points and six rebounds, Mike Allison (Lynden, Ontario) had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, Edwards had 17 points and five rebounds and Pollard finished with 10 points and seven assists to join Mesghna in double-figure scoring for the Black Bears.
Maine shot 58.5 percent for the game while holding UMBC to 44.3 percent. The Black Bears held a 39-25 edge in rebounding.
Chase Plummer was UMBC's Player of the Game with 14 points and nine rebounds.
The Black Bears return to action at on Wednesday at Hartford.