Yr two for the College of Maine males’s basketball group below head coach Chris Markwood bought off to an undesirable begin on Monday night time, because the Black Bears shot solely 33.3 p.c from the sector in a season opening loss to the College of North Carolina–Charlotte 49ers on the street, 69 to 52.
It was a troublesome take a look at for UMaine, who had been up in opposition to a formidable American Athletic Convention program that went 22-14 final yr and returned 4 of its high seven scorers. Pregame, ESPN gave the Black Bears solely a 20 p.c probability of beating Charlotte within the first ever matchup between the packages.
UMaine’s offense sputtered off the bat, failing to succeed in double-digit factors till 10:27 performed within the first half. Capturing solely 2-for-10 from deep within the first half, the Black Bears transformed each of their threes within the last 4:15, with clutch buckets coming from lanky junior switch A.J. Lopez and true sophomore Jaden Clayton to assist forge a 9-0 UMaine run heading into halftime.
Nonetheless down 34-27, UMaine was unable to hold this momentum out of the break, getting outscored 35 to 25 within the second half. The Black Bears completed 18-for-54 from the sector and 10-for-19 from the stripe, whereas the 49ers shot 23-for-43 and 17-for-21, respectively. The UMaine defensive set was undoubtedly in a position to disrupt Charlotte’s tempo of taking pictures, nonetheless, and in addition induced a +7 turnover differential.
Followers ought to count on UMaine’s assault to bounce again, particularly contemplating the 2022-23 Black Bears shot 45.8 p.c from the sector and 72.7 from the free throw line. UMaine did lose main scorer Gedi Juozapaitis to commencement this offseason, however returned its different high 5 bucket-getters in Kellen Tynes, Jaden Clayton, Ja’Shonte Wright-McLeish, Peter Filipovity and Kristians Feierbergs — all of whom began for UMaine on Monday night time.
The opposite silver lining for the Black Bears was the debut of three transfers: Lopez from the College of New Hampshire, fellow lanky scorer Quion Burns from Lengthy Island College and massive man Adam Cisse from Manhattan. Burns and Lopez mixed for 18 factors on 40 p.c taking pictures, and 5 rebounds. Cisse additionally recorded one bucket and two offensive boards.
UMaine will look to bounce again at house this week in opposition to UMaine–Presque Isle on Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Merrimack Faculty on Sunday at 4 p.m.