Maine Men's Basketball Hosts Quinnipiac in Pre-Thanksgiving Showdown

Maine Men's Basketball Hosts Quinnipiac in Pre-Thanksgiving Showdown

Maine Men's Basketball Hosts Quinnipiac in Pre-Thanksgiving Showdown


Maine hosts Quinnipiac for its second Cross Insurance Center game and a pre-Thanksgiving showdown on Monday, Nov. 25. The Black Bears and Bobcats are set to tip off at 7 p.m. Maine enter the game 1-3 while the Bobcats come in at 3-1.  

Quinnipiac comes to Bangor, Maine riding a two-game winning streak beating Albany 79-69 on Nov. 16 and Hampton on Nov. 20, 71-68. The Bobcats also tallied a win against America East opponent Hartford, 82-77.

Quinnipiac spreads the offense around as four of the team's five starters and five players total average double-digit points through four games. Zaid Hearst leads the pack averaging 15.2 points through four games while Ike Azotam (14.2 ppg), Umar Shannon (13.2), Kasim Chandler (12.0) and Ousmane Drame (10.8) are the others. 

Hearst not only leads in points but rebounds as well as he takes down on average 10.5 boards per game while Azotam is just shy of the double-digit rebound mark averaging 9.5 rebounds per contest. 

As a team the Bobcats have controlled the glass holding a rebound margin of +11.0. 

Quinnipiac currently is averaging 74 points per game while limiting opponents to 71 points per game. 

Dimitry Akanda-Coronel scored 26 second-half points but the Black Bears fell to NJIT, 88-82, in the team's first game at the new Cross Insurance Center, Tuesday night. The Black Bears drop to 1-3 on the year while NJIT improves to 3-2.

The Black Bears finished the game shooting 42 percent overall after struggling to score points in the first frame. NJIT shot 48 percent for the game.

Maine, which struggled for rebounds in its first three contests, did a better job in the war for the glass on Monday night, bringing down 37 rebounds to NJIT's 39. 

Akanda-Coronel set yet another career-high in points using a 26-point second half to add to his three points in the first, tallying 29 total points.

The Black Bears had two other scorers in double-digits as Zarko Valjarevic chipped in 14 and Shaun Lawton finished with 12.

The Highlanders went on a 12-10 run to open the game as Shawn Lawton and Troy Reid-Knight hit back-to-back threes to lead the Black Bear offense.

The Black Bears have faced some fierce competition in the first three games and have proven to be able to put points on the board. The Black Bears have averaged 87.8 points per contest, tallying those numbers against two A-10 squads, Rhode Island and George Washington and NAIA opponent Fisher and most recently NJIT. The Black Bears were (last week) 28th in the country in scoring average and are the highest America East team on that chart.  

The Black Bears enter 2013-14 as a young team and because of that have had young players step to the forefront. Several players have already tallied career days in points. It started with Xavier Pollard on Nov. 8 against Rhode Island when Pollard scored 23 points. Dimitry Akanda-Coronel also tallied a career-best in his last game where he was one point shy of the 30-point mark, scoring 29 against the Highlanders.

Ethan Mackey has also been impressive in the first season where he's seen significant playing time. He made his first start against Rhode Island on Nov. 8, and he was one rebound shy of a double-double tallying a team high 10 points with nine boards against the Colonials. He topped that with 11 rebounds against NJIT.  

Sophomore Dimitry Akanda-Coronel who is having a breakout campaign with his expanded role this year was one point away from breaking the 30 point plateau for the first time since Nov. 28, 2012 when Justin Edwards scored 30 against Northeastern. Akanda-Coronel bested his previous career-high in points set agasint Rhode Island on Nov. 8 when he scored 18 points. 

The Black Bears have done a nice job protecting the basketball through four games maintaining a +2.0 turnover margin. The squad currently averages just 12.5 turnovers a game while their competitors average 14.5. Their best game of holding onto the basketball was in its latest game against NJIT as the team only gave it away 10 times. 

The Black Bears have also done a nice job stealing the basketball in 2013-14. Maine holds a +3.5 steals margin in their games as they have tallied 38 steals and have limited opponents to 24 making for a 9.5-6.0 game average. Shaun Lawton, who has done a nice job in the starting lineup filling in for the injured Xavier Pollard, leads the steal parade recording eight in three games. 

The Black Bears have been an offense that has been centered on setting up offensive plays and sharing the basketball and it appears to have continued this season. Maine has led in the assist category twice so far this year and leads their opponents, 75-60 with helpers. Maine tallied its highest assist output against Fisher on Nov. 10 dishing it out 29 times. 

The Black Bears have done a nice job limiting "points in the paint " this season holding a 166-146 advantage in points scored in the rectangle. The Black Bears average 41.5 points scored in the paint this season while they have limited opponents to 36.5 points in the paint. 

A-10 IS A-OK!
While one of the premiere conferences in all of NCAA Division I basketball, head coach Ted Woodward has had some success against the Atlantic 10 in his time at Maine. The Black Bears, under the leadership of Woodward, have posted a 4-4 record against A-10 teams. He has defeated Rhode Island twice while also taking down UMass and Fordham. The three A-10 victories in the last four years is the most that an America East head coach/team has posted in that span. 

With a 4-4 record against A-10 teams, the Black Bears have also found some success against traditional "BCS football" schools and their basketball programs. Maine holds wins over Boston College and Penn State since Woodward has taken over. The win over the Eagles was the first time Maine has defeated Boston College in 85 years and is the only win by an America East team over an ACC team in that season (2009-10).

The Black Bears have been up-and-down in the rebounding department so far in 2013-14.  The Black Bears enter the contest avewraging 38.0 rebounds while allowing apponents to take down 45.2. 

That's why it should come as no surprise that in the games that the team has been out rebounded it is 0-3. Meanwhile in its lone win of the season, the Black Bears controlled the glass and recorded the win. 

Currently Ethan Mackey has been the Black Bears best at coming down with the ball. He currently paces all Black Bears in boards per game with 6.8. 

With the recent injury to Black Bear standout Xavier Pollard Maine has turned to sophomore Shaun Lawton. Lawton didn't skip a beat in his first start of the season as he tallied his highest point total as a Black Bear shooting 9-of-13 from the field, 1-of-1 from beyond the arc and 4-of-8 from the stripe for 23 points. He also led the game in assists with six and was tied for second on the team in rebounds with six. In his latest game against NJIT he also hit double digits with 12 points and led the team with eight asssists



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