Husson University's Justin Thompson (center) is greeted by his teammates after scoring his 1,000th career points during a Dec. 4, 2021, game against the University of Maine at Presque Isle at Newman Gymnasium in Bangor. Credit: Drew Hallett / Husson University

A 3-pointer at the buzzer by senior guard J  Thomas lifted the Husson College men’s basketball team to a 64-63 victory over the University of Maine at Farmington on Saturday in the North Atlantic Conference East Division championship game at Newman Gymnasium in Bangor.

Coach Warren Caruso’s Eagles (14-9) will host West Division Champion SUNY-Poly at 2 p.m. next Saturday, with the winner earning an automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Division III championship tournament. Second-seeded UMF ends its season at 14-7.

Thomas made a jump shot with 41 seconds left in the second half to forge a 61-61 tie, but UMF center Jack Kane then stole the ball after the Eagles had rebounded a missed shot by the Beavers and scored with 12 seconds remaining to give the visitors a 63-61 lead.

Husson then earned the chance to inbound the ball under its own basket in the final seconds after a foul call against UMF. Graduate student Justin Thompson of East Millinocket received the inbounding pass and handed it to senior guard Justice Kendall, but Kendall soon was forced to give up the ball and found Thomas on the left wing just in time to hit the game winner.

Thomas finished the game with 19 points, while senior guard DJ Bussey had 13 points, Thompson contributed 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists and 6-foot-9 center Jared Balser of Topsham added six points, eight rebounds and a career-high seven blocked shots.

Kane led UMF with 18 points and 15 rebounds while senior guard Terion Moss had 16 points, six rebounds and five assists and Nathan Poulin scored 10 points for the Beavers.

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...