Allin Blunt scored a career-high 23 points and University of Massachusetts Lowell outscored the University of Maine men’s basketball team 9-2 over the final 81 seconds of the game to secure a 71-62 America East conference victory at Lowell, Massachusetts, on Wednesday evening.

The loss was the sixth straight for UMaine, now 3-12 overall and 0-4 in conference play.

UMass Lowell is now 10-7 overall, 2-3 in America East.

“It was good to get back to winning,” UMass Lowell coach Pat Duquette said. “We didn’t play perfect by any means and we fought hard against a very resilient Maine team that kept coming at us and didn’t have any give-up to their game. Maine went on a late run in the second half and I was happy that my guys responded well.”

The River Hawks had to overcome a career-best performance from UMaine freshman forward Kristians Feierbergs, who scored 22 points on 9 of 13 shooting from the field and a 4 of 6 effort from beyond the 3-point arc.

The 6-foot-8 Feierbergs also grabbed 11 rebounds, while junior guard Maks Klansjeck added 13 points, four rebounds and three assists, junior guard Ja’Shonte Wright McLeish had eight points and five rebounds, and sophomore forward Peter Filipovity added eight points, all consecutively during UMaine’s second-half comeback.

UMaine played without leading scorer LaChaun Duhart and four-time America East Rookie of the Week Sam Ihekwoaba, both sidelined with injuries.


UMaine jumped out to a 14-6 lead 8 1/2 minutes into the contest, but UMass Lowell battled back to take the lead on a Justin Faison free throw with 4:50 left as part of an 11-0 River Hawks run that gave the hosts a 23-18 advantage.

UMass Lowell extended its 29-26 halftime lead to 55-41 on a basket by Blunt with 8:14 left in the second half, but UMaine charged back to outscore the Riverhawks 19-7 over the next 6 1/2 minutes.

Vukasin Masic ignited the surge with two baskets, then Feierbergs made a basket and a 3-pointer before Wright-McLeish scored to cut the deficit to 62-52 with 4:19 left and ignite a 10-0 UMaine run.

Filipovity followed with eight consecutive points, the final two a layup that pulled UMaine within 62-60 with 1:44 remaining.

UMass Lowell outscored the Black Bears 9-2 the rest of the way, including a 7 of 8 effort from the free-throw line that secured the victory.

UMaine returns to action at noon Saturday against Maryland Baltimore County (6-10, 1-4 AE) at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

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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...