University of Maine men's basketball player Stephane Ingo dribbles the ball during the team's first practice on Sept. 30, 2021, in Orono. Credit: Tyler Neville / UMaine Athletics

Keeshawn Barthelemy scored 14 of his game-high 22 points in the first half Monday evening as the University of Colorado men’s basketball team pulled away to a 90-46 non-conference victory over the University of Maine at the CU Events Center in Boulder, Colorado.

The Buffaloes, who were picked to finish sixth in the Pac-12 Conference preseason poll after going 23-9 last year and reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament, are now 3-0 this season.

UMaine fell to 1-2 after playing without leading scorer and rebounder Stephane Ingo, who was on the sidelines in street clothes.

The Black Bears’ next game is Friday night against UMaine-Fort Kent. Game time is 7 p.m. at Memorial Gymnasium back on the Orono campus.

Barthelemy, a sophomore guard from Montreal, Quebec, shot 9 of 12 from the field and 3 of 4 from the free-throw line for Colorado while improving his early season scoring average to 20.3 points per game.

Jabari Walker added 15 points and Nique Clifford scored 10 for the Buffaloes, who are averaging 90.3 points per contest in its victories over Montana State, New Mexico and UMaine.

Sophomore guard Vukasin Masic led UMaine with 11 points, all in the first half, while 7-foot-1 graduate transfer Chris Efretuei added 10 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots and freshman forward Kristians Feiersbergs scored nine points.

Colorado shot 54.4 percent (31 of 57) from the field, 50 percent (7 of 14) from beyond the 3-point arc and 70 percent (21 of 30) from the free-throw line, while UMaine shot just 32.7 percent (16 of 49) from the field, 23.8 percent (5 of 21) from beyond the arc and 60 percent (6 of 15) on free throws.

The Buffaloes overwhelmed the Black Bears on the interior, outrebounding UMaine 45-23 and finishing with a 44-20 advantage on points in the paint.

Colorado also scored 25 points off 17 UMaine turnovers while the Black Bears managed just five points off 10 Buffalo turnovers.

Colorado outscored UMaine 21-7 over the final five minutes of the first half to take a 46-29 lead into the break.

Efretuei came off the bench to contribute six points and four rebounds over his first four minutes of action, including two left-handed hooks and a follow-up slam as the Black Bears held a 13-12 lead midway through the half.

UMaine was still within 25-22 on a 3-pointer by Aurora, Colorado, product LaChaun DuHart with 5:06 left in the period, but Colorado went on an 8-0 run featuring 3-pointers by Clifford and Barthelemy to move out to a 33-22 advantage before Feierbergs finally answered for the Black Bears with a left-handed layup with 3:11 remaining.

A 3-pointer by Masic kept UMaine within 40-29 with two minutes left before intermission before Colorado scored the next six points to take its largest lead of the first half as time expired.

UMaine’s Milos Nenadic buried a 3-pointer 12 seconds into the second half, but Colorado scored the next 14 points to push its lead to 60-32 before Efretuei scored after grabbing an offensive rebound to end a 6:06 scoreless drought for the Black Bears with 13:42 remaining.

Colorado outscored UMaine 44-17 in the second half.

UMaine freshman Byron Ireland, a 6-foot-1 guard from Annapolis, Maryland, was named the first America East Rookie of the Week for the 2021-22 season on Monday.

Ireland appeared in each of the Black Bears’ first two games, coming off the bench to average 7.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 2.0 steals.

Ireland began his collegiate career with nine points during UMaine’s 82-47 loss at Virginia Tech to tie the team high. Ireland went 4-for-7 from the floor in 21 minutes while adding two rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Ireland chipped in six points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals in Maine’s 71-52 victory over UMaine-Farmington last Friday and had five points and two steals in 14 minutes against Colorado.

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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...