The University of Maine men’s basketball team lost its seventh game in a row and its fourth in a row in America East on Saturday afternoon as it fell to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County 85-77.
The Black Bears had a 14-point, 60-46 lead with 14:51 to play, but slowly lost its lead for the rest of the game.
UMaine falls to 6-11 and 0-4 in America East play. UMBC earned its third win in a row to move to 12-6, its ninth win in its last 11 games.
Kristians Feierbergs dropped in a layup with 11 minutes left that gave UMaine a 65-55 lead. From there, UMBC went on a 21-4 run that put the game away for the Retrievers.
In the second half, UMBC shot 68 percent from the field while UMaine shot 31 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes after shooting a strong 65 percent in the first half.
Jarvis Doles hit a free throw to cut it to 65-60 before Ja’Shonté Wright-McLeish hit a layup to open the lead to seven points with 9:26 to play.
Wright-McLeish finished with 11 points.
Yaw Obeng-Mensah hit a layup to cut the deficit for UMBC to 67-64 with just-under 9 minutes left. Feierbergs and Tra’Von Fagan traded buckets and with 6:33, UMaine led 69-66. Obeg-Mensah then earned a big dunk to pull the Retrievers within one, 69-68, with 6:06 remaining.
Two free throws from Craig Beaudoin and another shot at the rim from Obeng-Mensah and UMaine trailed 74-69 with 3:54 to play.
Colton Lawrence hit a pull-up jumper that gave UMBC a 76-69 lead with 2:37 left to cap the Retriever’s run.
Juozapaitis snapped the run momentarily with another three-pointer, his fifth of the game, but Beaudoin answered with a triple of his own with 1:49 left and UMaine trailed 79-72.
Wright-McLeish scored a layup to cut the deficit to five points with 64 seconds to play. He then stole the ball and found Clayton for a three-pointer to get within 79-77 with 57 seconds left.
From there, Fagan hit four free throws on the next two UMBC possessions after multiple Black Bear misses, and with 43 seconds left the Retrievers held a 83-77 lead.
Fagan hit two more from the line with 17 seconds left to put the game away. The Retrievers shot 16-20 from the free throw line in the second half.
Juozapaitis led the way for UMaine with 24 points. Obeng-Mensah scored 20 to pace UMBC.
In the first half everything was going right for the Black Bears.
UMaine started on fire, going on an early 11-0 run that gave the Black Bears a 16-5 lead 6:33 into the contest. Over the course of the first half, five UMaine players hit at least one three-pointer.
Kellen Tynes scored at the hoop right before the halftime buzzer to give UMaine a 45-34 lead at the half. Tynes finished the contest with seven points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals.
Juozapaitis scored 14 points in the first half, shooting three-for-six from the three-point line.