Coming off arguably one of its worst games of the season in a 100-68 thumping at the hands of UMass Lowell, the University of Maine men’s basketball team played one of its best games of the season at Stony Brook on Sunday.
But a massive upset eluded the Black Bears on Long Island, as Roland Nyama hit a free throw with 0.5 seconds remaining to supply the Seawolves with a 67-66 America East victory at Stony Brook, New York.
Stony Brook improves to 15-10 overall, 10-2 in America East, while coach Bob Walsh’s Black Bears fall to 6-22 and 2-11, respectively.
UMaine had a chance to win it with 1.2 seconds left, but Marko Pirovic’s inbounds pass underneath his own basket sailed over the opposite endline, giving the Seawolves the ball underneath the Bears’ bucket.
Nyama was fouled by Danny Evans on a drive to the basket on the subsequent play, and he hit one of two free throws to give the Seawolves the victory.
In spite of how well the Black Bears played against one of the league’s top teams, Walsh was not interested in moral victories.
“We lost. It doesn’t matter, we lost,” he told Learfield play-by-play man Ron Lisnet. “We weren’t good enough to win.”
Nyama finished with a game-high 26 points, while Lucas Woodhouse had 11 for the Seawolves. Wes Myers paced UMaine with 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Andrew Fleming had 17 points and seven boards.
UMaine led by as many as 11 in the first half, but the Seawloves finished the half on a 28-17 run to take a six-point lead — its largest of the game — into halftime.
“Our guys showed a lot of heart and toughness,” Walsh said. “This is going to be a tough, tough one to swallow.”
UMaine was able to hit four 3-pointers in the contest’s first six minutes to build its lead, and the Bears shot 42 percent (9-21) from beyond the arc for the game.