Bangor, Maine -- The University of Maine men's basketball team dropped its second meeting against Hartford 63-60 in Zarko Valjarevic's last game at home as a Black Bear Wednesday night at the Cross Insurance Center.
Hartford had a tremendous amount of support from their bench producing 26 points and were lead by John Carroll who had 15 points. Kevin Little
led the Black Bears with 22 points while Till Gloger added 13 points.
Maine drops to 3-25 on the season and 2-13 in America East play while Hartford improves to 14-14 and 7-8 in America East play.
Hartford started the game with a 6-0 run. The Black Bears then answered with tough, suffocating defense that forced turnovers to narrow the score to 8-6 Hartford. Off of a Kevin Little three, the Black Bears took their first lead of the game, 11-9.
The turning point of the half for Maine was the 19-6 run that brought the scored to 19-12. The run was fueled by a pair of Little threes and one by Valjarevic.
Maine was able to increase its lead to five, 29-24, after a Shaun Lawton
steal led to a dunk of his own.
Just like the previous meeting against Hartford earlier this season, Maine was able to take a 29-24 lead into halftime.
Gloger lead the Black Bears with 10 points in the first-half shooting 5-of-5 from the field. Little added eight points and Troy Reid-Knight
chipped in with four.
Hartford started the second-half converting on three consecutive three point field goals to erase the Black Bear lead and take a 33-32.
For the majority of the second half it was back and forth action that featured three lead changes. Maine was able to penetrate the paint to create some easy bucks by Little and Lawton to cut the Hartford lead 53-52.
The Black Bears found themselves down by four following two Hartford free throws for a 59-55 lead when Little drove in for an easy layup to bring the score to 59-57 with 40-seconds remaining.
A call that was originally signaled a Hartford turnover was overturned late in the half and the Black Bears had to foul to preserve time. With Maine down three and 15-seconds remaining, Little was able to drive to the paint again to bring the score to 60-59 with 7.5 seconds remaining.
The Black Bears fouled again which brought the score to 62-59. Little was then fouled with 3-seconds remaining and converted on the first shot while trying to purposely miss the second. The ball went off of a Maine player for Hartford's ball. The Hawks inbounded the ball and were instantly fouled, converting on the first shot and missing the second to force a Maine shot from half court that was waved off as time expired.
Maine returns to action on March 1 at 1 p.m. versus America East rival New Hampshire.