The University of Maine men’s basketball team fell for a second time to the Vermont Catamounts this season with a 74-65 loss Wednesday.

In a game that was delayed 80 minutes because of an uneven floor at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, UMaine battled from 17-points down in the second half to cut it to seven points late, but Vermont’s free throw shooting was too strong.

UMaine (10-14) made four defensive stops in a row and finally scored via a Kellen Tynes layup after the fourth stop, but Vermont (14-10) immediately made a layup to keep it a double-digit game.

UMaine’s Ata Turgut flushed a two-handed dunk with 4:20 left to cut the lead to single digits, 62-54, for the first time since the first half. In the final 2:10, Vermont began to drill free throws when they counted.

“We shot 56 percent in the second half,” UMaine head coach Chris Markwood said. “We had some opportunities in the first half we didn’t make and some went in in the second half, and it just wasn’t a complete effort.”

Turgut finished with 14 points.

After starting 4-11 from the line, the Catamounts shot 12-12 in the final 2:10 to hold off a charging UMaine squad at the end.

Gedi Juozapaitis hit just his second 3-pointer in the final minute to make it 70-63, and Peter Filipovity made a layup to get within 72-65 with 30 seconds left, but it was too little, too late.

Juozapaitis led UMaine with 16 points, while Filipovity added 15.

UMaine was out-rebounded 12-3 on the offensive boards and turned the ball over nine times.

Turgut and Tynes hit back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game up at 14 a piece with just-under 10 minutes to play in the first half before Vermont went on a quick 8-2 run over the next four minutes.

Tynes, the country’s leader in steals, stole the ball twice, but Vermont turned the ball over just one more time.

“They’re really sound. They’re not a team that turns it over a ton,” Markwood said. “They have a lot of veteran guys, play multiple guards at the same time, so they aren’t a team that is going to cough it up a lot.”

Trailing 24-16, Tynes hit a fadeaway jumper on the baseline to cut the UMaine deficit to 24-18.

Finn Sullivan answered with one of his three 3-pointers in the first half to give Vermont a 27-18 advantage with four minutes to play. The Catamounts shot 7-22 from beyond the arch in the first half with Sullivan leading the way with nine points.

“We held them to 40 percent from the floor. I don’t know who has done that recently, but they hit seven threes in the first half and four of them we felt were in our control, but we just didn’t close out hard enough,” Markwood said. “We weren’t great offensively and I’ll take that one. They’re a great team and they’re winning games on the road.”

Matt Veretto drilled two threes in two minutes to start the second half and helped the Catamounts to a 44-28 lead.

Tugut answered with back-to-back buckets but Sullivan made a steal on UMaine’s next offensive possession and drove it for an easy layup that gave Vermont a 15-point lead 3:30 into the half.

With 10:30 to play, Filipovity made back-to-back layups to cut the deficit to 11, but Vermont kept the Black Bears at bay.

UMaine will travel to New Jersey Institute of Technology for a road game on Saturday.

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Adam Robinson

Adam Robinson is a native of Auburn, Maine, and graduate of Husson University and Edward Little High School. He enjoys sports, going on runs and video games.