ORONO, Maine - Ernest Turner completed a traditional three-point play with 27 seconds remaining in overtime that helped pull the University of Maine past the University of New Hampshire, 59-56, during men's basketball action Sunday afternoon at Alfond Arena.
The win ended a four-game losing streak for Maine as improves to 10-15 overall and 5-9 in America East. New Hampshire drops to 10-16 overall and 7-18 in America East.
Maine finished shooting .373 in field goals (19 for 51) while New Hampshire shot .367 (18 for 49). Each time committed 11 turnovers while the Wildcats were outrebounded 35-32.
Despite a 33-23 lead after the first stanza, the Wildcats could not hold on in the second half as they were outscored 27-17 by the Black Bears. New Hampshire shot .542 (13 for 24) in field goals compared to Maine who shot .409 (9 for 22). Senior guard Ioannis Karalis (Athens, Greece) led New Hampshire in scoring in the first half, shooting 3 of 4 in field goals and registering eight points. Rashard Turner led the Black Bears offensively, shooting 3 of 6 in field goals for eight points.
At 16:13 in the second stanza, Phil Tchekane Bofia converted a 3-pointer that sparked a 7-2 run for the Black Bears that chipped New Hampshire's lead. Junior guard Jermaine Anderson (Beverly, Mass.) sank two free throws to boost New Hampshire's lead to six (42-26).
With 4:12 remaining, Olli Ahvenniemi posted a lay up, giving Maine its first lead of the game (46-45). Anderson reclaimed a slim lead for the Wildcats with two more free throws at 3:28 (47-46).
With New Hampshire leading 50-48, Ernest Turner sank two baskets from the charity stripe to knot the score 50-50, forcing the game into overtime.
In the extra frame, Chris Bruff registered a lay up at 4:41 for Maine. The Wildcats answered with a lay up from junior forward Blagoj Janev (Sydney, Australia) at 4:21. Sophomore forward Mike Christensen (Reston,Va.) added a jumper at 3:02, giving New Hampshire a 54-52 advantage. Jamaal Caterina (Portland, Maine) converted two more free throws at 1:27 before Maine ended the game on a 7-0 run.
Rashard Turner led Maine in scoring with 16 points, shooting 5 of 11 from the field. Anderson led New Hampshire with 12 points, shooting 3 of 8 from the field and a perfect 5 of 5 at the line.
New Hampshire (10-16, 7-8 America East) closes out its regular season against the University at Albany Thursday February 23 at 7 p.m. at Lundholm Gymnasium. Ticket information for upcoming home games at Lundholm is available online at www.unhwildcats.com/tickets or by calling 1-866-WILDCAT.