Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Basketball Begins Final Week of America East Regular Season With Road Loss at Maine

Orono, Maine - Freshman Murphy Burnatowski scored a career-high 20 points and Gerald McLemore had 10 of his 13 in the second half in leading Maine to a 66-53 America East Conference victory over UAlbany on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at Alfond Sports Arena.

Maine (19-9, AE 11-4) led 35-34 early in the second half, but then took control with a 16-3 run that ended at the second media timeout. McLemore and Burnatowski drilled back-to-back three-pointers to ignite the decisive run. McLemore, a sophomore guard who leads the nation in three-pointers made, added another jumper, before Junior Bernal made consecutive baskets, including a driving layup for a 51-37 lead.

The Black Bears, who have won five of their last six outings, held the visitors to 26.7-percent shooting on 8-of-30 attempts in the final period. Maine led by as much as 20 points with six minutes remaining. Bernal was the third player in double figures for the Black Bears, who lead the conference in scoring defense.

"They are rock solid and do a great job of controlling tempo," UAlbany coach Will Brown said. "They are big, strong and physical. It all came down to our shooting in the second half and our inability to make shots."

In the opening period, UAlbany (7-23, AE 2-13) leaped to an 18-8 advantage. Will Harris and Logan Aronhalt made a pair of three-point field goals. Blake Metcalf's left baseline jumper gave his team its biggest lead. The Black Bears used a string of eight straight points to close the gap and tied the contest at 22 apiece on Troy Barnies' long-range shot from the top of the arc.

The Great Danes pushed out to a 27-22 margin with two fastbreak opportunities, including Aronhalt's basket in transition. But Maine came back with seven unanswered to take its first lead of the half. Mike Allison, a freshman center, scored with an offensive rebound, before Bernal connected in transition to end that run. UAlbany's Fran Urli later made a follow shot to draw his team even at 31-all, but Burnatowski hit a slam dunk after his steal and Allison made a baseline jumper to give their club a halftime edge.

"We couldn't make shots; there was a lid on the basket," stated Harris, a senior forward who was held to three points on 1-of-6 from the field. "When we are missing shots, we need to do a better job at the defensive end. We didn't do that tonight."

Aronhalt, a redshirt freshman, had 15 points for the Great Danes, who were coming off a last-second loss to conference-leader Stony Brook. Urli added 11 points and six rebounds off the bench.

Paw Prints: Maine swept the season series after posting a 63-54 triumph in the first meeting on Jan. 21 at SEFCU Arena ... Logan Aronhalt scored in double figures for the sixth time this season ... UAlbany ends the regular season with a road game against Hartford on Sunday, Feb 28 at 4:00 p.m. ... Fans can listen to the game Fox Sports 980, WOFX-AM.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

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