University of Maine men's basketball players Vukasin Masic (from left), Adefolarin Adetogun and Stephane Ingo bring the ball down the court in a November 2021 game. Credit: Credit: Courtesy of UMaine Athletics

The University of Albany used a 10-0 run late in the second half to rally past the University of Maine men’s basketball team 72-68 on Wednesday night at Memorial Gymnasium on the Orono campus.

UMaine falls to 6-21 overall, 3-13 in America East play. Albany is 13-15, 9-7 in the conference.

UMaine led by as many as 16 points in the first half before settling for a 37-30 lead at intermission.

The Black Bears rebuilt their advantage to 10 points at 46-36 on a Peter Filipovity basket with 15:48 left, but Albany then scored 11 unanswered points to take a 47-46 edge on a 3-pointer by Trey Hutcheson with 12:22 remaining.

UMaine took its final lead at 60-58 on a jumper by Sam Ihekwoaba with 5:00 left in the game.

Albany then went on its decisive 10-0 run, with Matt Cerruti making a 3-pointer to give the Great Danes a 61-60 lead with 3:47 left. Hutcheson followed with three free throws before Cerruti made a four-point play after being fouled while making a 3-pointer to give his team a 68-60 lead with 2:01 to go.

UMaine rallied twice within two points, for the first time at 68-66 on a basket by freshman guard Byron Ireland with 1:03 remaining and the final time at 70-68 on another Ireland basket with 1 second to play, but Albany kept the Black Bears at bay by making 8 of 8 free-throw tries during the game’s final three minutes.

Albany shot 8 of 15 (53.3 percent) from 3-point range for the contest, including 7 of 11 in the second half. That compared with 5 of 18 overall for UMaine (27.8 percent), 2 of 10 in the second half.

The Great Danes also converted 14 UMaine turnovers into 22 points while UMaine scored just 13 points off 13 Albany turnovers.

Cerruti scored a game-high 18 points for Albany, including a 4-of-5 performance on 3-point tries. Jamel Horton added 14 points for the Great Danes while Hutcheson scored 12 points and Justin Neely had 10.

Ireland’s 13 points paced UMaine, while Maks Klanjscek scored 12 points, Filipovity 11 and Vukasin Masic nine.

Stephane Ingo contributed 10 rebounds and four blocked shots for the Black Bears.

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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...