GORHAM, Maine – Senior Christian McCue (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) scored 25 points to lead four players in double figures as the University of Southern Maine Huskies shot 55.2 percent (16-for-29) in the second half en route to an 84-78 win over the UMass Dartmouth Corsairs in a Little East Conference men's basketball game Saturday afternoon at Hill Gymnasium.
With its second straight win, Southern Maine is now 4-17 overall and 2-8 in the Little East. UMass Dartmouth is 11-10 overall and 4-6 in conference play.
McCue was 6-for-10 from the field and 11-for-12 from the free throw line for his team-high total. Junior Sean Jany (Westbrook, Maine) added 19 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots on a 7-for-12 effort from the field, while junior Grayson Waterman (York, Maine) came off the bench with 18 points, seven rebounds and two assists. Senior Donne Agossou (Auburn, Maine/Lewiston) added 14 points, and five rebounds.
Jake Ashworth led all scorers with 26 points for UMD, going 8-for-16 from the floor, and 6-for-12 from three-point range. Arinze Obiora had a 23-point, 15-rebound double-double for the Corsairs, finishing 9-for-13. Six of Obiora's rebounds were offensive. Atakan Akcam added 10 points.
Shooting 37.5 percent (12-for-32) in the first half, Southern Maine trailed the Corsairs 35-31 at the break. UMass Dartmouth scored the first seven points of the game and lead throughout the opening stanza. McCue and Jany helped USM keep pace with the Corsairs scoring 13 and 10 points, respectively. Ashworth had 13 points in the first half for the Corsairs, while Obiora had nine points and seven rebounds.
Battling back-and-forth in the opening five minutes of the second half, Ashworth kept UMD in front 43-37 with a three with 15:24 to play, before USM rallied to knot the game up at 47 in the next 90 seconds. Led by five points from Waterman, and a traditional three-point play from Jany, USM outscored UMD 10-4 to set up an intense final 14 minutes of action.
Over the next 10 minutes of action the scoreboard saw seven tie scores and six lead changes. Two free throws from Ashworth kept the Corsairs in front 69-68 with 3:41 left in regulation, before USM's McCue hit a mid-range jumper to give USM a 70-69 lead. McCue's jumper wound up being the go ahead basket as the Huskies did not relinquish the lead the rest of the way.
After McCue's bucket, Jany hit for a short jumper in the paint extending USM's lead to 72-69 with :254 to play. Ackam responded for the Corsairs for a one-point game (72-71, 2:03). With its lead trimmed to a point, USM got a traditional three-point play from Waterman and a 75-71 lead with under two on the clock.
Obiora made it a single-possession game with two free throws on UMD's next possession for a 75-73 game with 1:30 left, but USM was able to close out the game on the free throw line making 9-of-10 down the stretch despite UMD's Ashworth scoring five points in the final minute of action to keep the Corsairs within a possession.
USM finished the game shooting 45.9 percent (28-for-61) from the field, and an outstanding 82.8 percent (24-for-29) from the free throw line in the win.
Southern Maine returns to action on Wednesday (7:30 p.m.) hosting Plymouth State University in a Little East Conference game. USM will be hosting its annual Town of Gorham Night Celebration, and will also be hosting Turn-Back-The-Clock event and the Huskies will wear uniforms harkening back to the Gorham State College era. Admission is free for the game, and the first 100 fans will receive a fan gift.
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