ORONO, Maine- Kevin Reed (Yarmouth, Mass.) scored a season-high 31 points to lead the University of Maine to a 76-70 win over New Hampshire in a classic men's basketball battle on Wednesday night at Alfond Arena in front of 1,466 fans. The Black Bears even their record to 11-11 on the season and improve to 6-7 in America East play. New Hampshire falls to 7-15, 3-10 in conference play.
"I like the leadership of this group," said UMaine head coach Ted Woodward. "We definitely needed guys to step up tonight and we mentioned that. We certainly believed that Ammar (Harknell) was able to do that along with other guys off our bench. We had a number of different guys step up and that is what good teams do. I was very happy to see that tonight."
After a low-scoring first half, the two teams made up for it in the second half as each team shot better than 64 percent from the floor in the stanza. New Hampshire took a 27-25 lead into halftime behind 12 points from Ben Sturgill. Reed led the Black Bears with nine first half points.
Ammar Harknell (Stockholm, Sweden) opened the second half by draining a three-point field goal to give the Black Bears a 28-27 lead. UNH answered with back-to-back hoops by Sturgill and Craig Walls to take the lead once again. The two teams continued their seesaw battle back and forth over the next several minutes.
Reed and New Hampshire's Chris Vetrano then put on a show over the next seven minutes. Reed hit five three-pointers over the span while Vetrano countered with four. Each time one player would drain a trey to give their squad the lead, the other wound answer.
With the score tied 62-62 with 5:41 to play, Maine went on an 8-2 run to grab a 70-64 lead. Reed and Harknell led the run, each draining a three-pointer. Trailing by six points, UNH answered. Mike Christensen cut the deficit to just four points for the Wildcats and Sturgill followed with back-to-back layups to knot the tilt at 70-70.
Maine then took over. Joe Campbell (Bangor, Maine) hit a pair of free throws with 1:03 remaining. Chris Bruff (Bloomfield, Conn.) extended Maine's lead to three points with a free throw. The Black Bears then forced a turnover and were able to gain possession of the ball. David Dubois (St.-Gabriel, Quebec) put the game out of reach with a layup and free throw with just over 10 seconds remaining.
Reed led Maine with 31 points, including tying his career-high with seven three-point field goals. He also pulled down a team-high eight rebounds and recorded six steals. Ammar Harknell, who was playing in just his third collegiate game, scored 12 points. The points were the first of his career. Joe Campbell added 12 points for the Black Bears.
Ben Sturgill led New Hampshire with 20 points and nine rebounds. Chris Vetrano added 16 points, including four three-point field goals.
Maine shot 47.2 percent from the floor in the game, including shooting 65.4 percent in the second half. New Hampshire shot 48.1 percent in the game, including 64.0 in the second half.
Before the game, Kevin Reed was honored for recently scoring his 1,000th career point and grabbing his 500th career rebound. Campbell was honored for pulling down his 500th career rebound.