River Hawks Overcome 17 Lead Changes to Defeat Maine, 70-61

River Hawks Overcome 17 Lead Changes to Defeat Maine, 70-61

BANGOR, Maine – In a game that featured 17 lead changes, the UMass Lowell men’s basketball team (15-15, 7-8 AE) was able to take the lead for good inside of the final 10 minutes to earn a 70-61 victory at America East Conference opponent Maine (5-24, 3-11 AE) on Wednesday evening.

Down by two at 51-49, freshman Joey Glynn (Portsmouth, N.H.) dug in and tallied buckets on the River Hawks’ next four possessions to spark a 16-4 run that gave the squad its only double-digit margin of the night, 65-55, with less than five minutes left to play. The Black Bears were able to cut the difference to just five in the final minutes, but a layup and a pair of timely defensive rebounds by senior Ryan Jones (Rio Rancho, N.M.) secured the decision.

“We pulled away at the right time,” said Head Coach Pat Duquette. “It was a close game and both teams were playing really hard. We had to shorten our bench a little bit and I thought we got some good production from Ryan Jones off the bench. Joey Glynn came in and gave us a good second half and Shawn Jones was able to run our team, so I think that’s how we pulled away in the second half.”

Redshirt-junior Christian Lutete (Silver Spring, Md.) led the way offensively with 21 points, including a 7-for-7 effort at the line. Sophomore Obadiah Noel (Frederick, Md.) added 14 points, while senior Shawn Jones (Bridge City, La.) and Glynn chipped in with 12 and 10 points, respectively.

With the victory, UMass Lowell now boasts its most league wins since 2015-16, as well as the programs most wins away from home during the Division I era.

The Black Bears worked to create a two-possession margin in the opening minutes of the contest, although the River Hawks would use a stretch of 10 unanswered points, including back-to-back threes from Noel and Lutete, to take their first lead, 13-8, with 13:44 remaining in the first half.

UMass Lowell maintained at least a two-point advantage until the home team ignited a 10-2 run to regain the upper hand, 21-17, at 7:48. An and-1 from Lutete and a layup from S. Jones quickly put the River Hawks back in front, but following four lead changes in the waning minutes of the period, Maine hit a layup inside the last 10 seconds to send the teams into the locker rooms all tied up at 31-31.

The River Hawks and Black Bears traded four more lead changes in the first five minutes of the second half before freshman Allin Blunt (Bowie, Md.) sank a jumper, and Noel drove to the hoop, finishing a three-point play, to give the visitors a slight, 47-44 edge with 13:54 left to play.

The back-and-forth battle continued, as Maine pulled in front once again on five straight points from Vincent Eze, although Glynn would then put the team in front for good.

UMass Lowell now leads the all-time series against Maine, 10-4. The River Hawks are off this weekend and will wrap up the regular season at Vermont on Tuesday, March 5.

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