Lechaun Duhart Credit: Courtesy of UMaine athletics

The University of Maine men’s basketball team entered the world of the top-level Atlantic Coast Conference on Tuesday afternoon, and Boston College sent the Black Bears home with a 78-62 defeat at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.

UMaine, which had its first five games of the season canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, fell to 0-3 after playing its third game in four days. The Black Bears are now idle until resuming their America East schedule with back-to-back games against New Hampshire on Jan. 2-3, 2021.

Boston College rebounded from its worst defeat in Conte Forum history — a 101-63 loss to Syracuse on Dec. 12 — to halt a four-game losing streak and improve to 2-5 heading into its ACC opener at North Carolina State on Dec. 30.

UMaine was hurt by 24 turnovers that led to 28 BC points, and the Black Bears — using a three-guard lineup — also yielded 44 points in the paint.

Jay Heath led BC with 16 points while C.J. Felder added 14.

UMaine guard LeChaun DuHart scored 15 of his game-high 19 points in the first half while redshirt sophomore forward Stephane Ingo scored all of his 15 points after intermission for the Black Bears to go with six rebounds.

DuHart, a 5-11 freshman from Aurora, Colorado, via Western Wyoming, made five 3-pointers in the first half, but that was about it for the UMaine offense as Boston College closed out the game’s first 20 minutes on a 12-2 run to build a 43-24 intermission lead.

Four of DuHart’s early 3-pointers came during the first 10 minutes of play as UMaine hung within 15-14 before BC used defensive pressure and its dominance of the inside play to take control.

The Eagles outscored UMaine 26-8 in the paint during the first half against a UMaine defense that was without its tallest player after the 6-9 Ingo picked up two early fouls.

UMaine also committed 13 turnovers compared to just four for BC, which outrebounded the Black Bears 26-18 in the period.

DuHart shot 5 of 7 from beyond the arc for a game-high 15 points at intermission, but the rest of the UMaine squad made just 4 of 20 shots from the field.

UMaine is averaging just 21.3 points in the first first half through three games.

Ingo scored 10 points early in the second half but Boston College continued to maintain a comfortable lead that grew to as much as 63-39 on a 3-pointer by Wynston Tabbs with 9:56 remaining.

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...