Akanda-Coronel’s Double-Double Helps Lift Maine To Victory In America East Opener
BANGOR, Maine – Dimitry Akanda-Coronel continued his torrid pace on Sunday afternoon, recording his first career double-double, as the Black Bears opened up America East play with a 82-66 win against Binghamton, at the Cross Insurance Center. Akanda-Coronel scored 14 points and took down 10 boards in the winning-effort as Maine improves to 3-10 overall and 1-0 in conference, while Binghamton drops to 3-11 and 0-1 in America East games.
It was a team effort when it came to the offense as the Black Bears had four players reach double-digit figures with junior forward, Kilian Cato leading the charge. Cato used a first-half surge, scoring 13 points in the opening frame as he finished the contest with 17 points, and three rebounds.
Akanda-Coronel struggled from the field but made the Bearcats pay at the stripe shooting 6-of-9 and finishing with his 14 points and 10 rebounds. He also chipped in three assists. Zarko Valjarevic also added 14 points in the win, shooting 50 percent (4-of-8) from beyond the arc and 5-of-11 from the field.
Jordan Reed paced the Bearcats as he accounted for 20 points and 15 rebounds as he recorded a double-double of his own, in the losing effort, while the Black Bears held every other Binghamton player to single digit point totals.
In what has been a rarity for the Black Bears this season and a possible sign of improvement, Maine won the rebounding battle taking down 47 boards to Binghamton's 43. That rebound-total is the second highest of the season, and the highest when playing against a division I opponent.
After falling behind, 7-2, early in the first half, Akanda-Coronel, Cato and Xavier Pollard all drained buckets to give Maine its first lead of the half, 8-7 with 15:48 left in the frame.
Maine got its lead up to 21-14 midway through the half capped by a Valjarevic trey, assisted by Shaun Lawton, with 10:21 left to go in the half.
Maine's hot shooting continued throughout the first half as they ended the period on a 28-14 run as it headed to the break up 49-28. The 49-point output is the second-largest first half point-total of the season and the largest accrued amount, against a DI foe.
The Black Bears shot 55 percent in that opening frame (20-of-36) while holding Binghamton to just 34 percent (11-of-32).
Maine also held the edge in rebounds hauling in 21 boards to the Bearcat's 18.
Maine got up to a 23-point lead with just under 14 minutes left in the game capped by an Ethan Mackey layup as the Black Bears led 59-36.
The Bearcats chipped away at the Maine lead however as the team got it down to 10 points with 1:08 remaining in the contest as a Reed layup fell in to make it 76-66, however the Black Bears maintained its advantage and won the game 82-66.
It was the fourth-consecutive season that the Black Bears have opened up conference play with a victory, as Maine head coach Ted Woodward is now .500 in conference openers (5-5).
Maine shot 44 percent for the game but more impressively held the Bearcats to under 40 percent with Binghamton shooting 25-of-67.
Maine will continue America East play this week when it takes to the road for a Thursday night contest at Hartford on Jan. 9 and will then play against UMBC on Jan. 11 in Baltimore, Md. Those games are slated for 7 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., respectively.