ORONO, Maine – The University of Maine men's basketball team fell in a heartbreaker to New Hampshire by the score of 57-54 on Wednesday night at the Alfond Arena. Maine falls to 8-13 overall and 3-5 in America East play while New Hampshire improves to 6-14 and 2-6 in league play. Maine was led by its America East Player of the Game Alasdair Fraser (Falkirk, Scotland) who had 20 points and eight rebounds.
The Black Bears fell behind 39-22 to start the second half, but rallied to go on a 19-to-3 run courtesy of 10 points from Fraser, who finished the run with a two-handed slam from Shaun Lawton (Harlem, N.Y.) to close the gap to 42-41 with 10:11 left.
New Hampshire answered and held a 50-45 lead with 4:40 left, but a jumper by Xavier Pollard (Bronx, N.Y.), three-pointer by Zarko Valjarevic (Belgrade, Serbia) and layup by Mike Allison (Lynden, Ontario) sandwiched around a Wildcat jumper knotted the game at 52 with 2:15 left.
The Wildcats took a 55-52 edge with 1:08 left after a free throw and a bucket, but Pollard converted with 11 seconds left to make it a one-point lead. The Black Bears fouled and New Hampshire would make a pair of free throws after grabbing the rebound from the front end of a 1-and-1 to force Maine into a three that missed.
New Hampshire took a 35-22 lead at half after outscoring the Black Bears 26-13 through the final 13:45 of the first stanza.
The Wildcats shot 38.7 percent in the first half including 62.5 percent from three-point range in the first 20 minutes while Maine shot 34.6 percent and did not convert a three on three tries.
Fraser had eight points and three rebounds in the first half while Allison added four points, five rebounds and four blocks before finishing the game with six points, eight rebounds and five blocks. Valjarevic finished with nine points and four rebounds.
Maine finished the game shooting 36.2 percent from the field while holding New Hampshire to 33.3 percent. The Black Bears held a 46-39 edge in rebounding.
New Hampshire was led by its Player of the Game Chandler Rhoads who had 18 points and seven rebounds.