Lyndonville, VT - The Lyndon State College men's basketball team saw one of its best offensive performances of the season go for naught on Friday night, as they fell to an even hotter shooting University of Maine at Farmington team, 106-98, in Stannard Gymnasium. With the win UMF improved to 8-12 on the season and 6-7 in North Atlantic conference play. The Hornets fall to 2-17 overall and 2-11 in conference.
Things started very well for the Hornets, as they scored on their first five possessions to open up a 13-4 advantage three minutes into the contest. Robbie Rouelle (St. Johnsbury, VT) connected on a pair of three-pointers to spark the opening run. The Beavers responded wiith a 10-1 run of their own and tied things at 14-14 on an Isaac Witham Smithfield, ME) jumper five minutes in. Zach Knowlton's (Franconia, NH) three gave the Hornets the lead back, but after Witham knocked down a jumper and Milani Hicks (Scarborough, ME) scored inside the Beavers had their first lead. Roeulle put Lyndon back up one with a pair of free throws, but three straigt scores from Riley Robinson (Dixfield, ME), Amir Moss (Portland, ME), and Bill Ruby (Gorham, ME) gave the Beavers a lead that they would never relinquish.
Lyndon would pull within 29-27 following a Ricky Shuford (Prattville, AL) layup at the 8:35 mark, but UMF would outscore the Hornets 25-13 over the next seven minutes to build a 54-40 advantage. The Beavers converted nine of 13 shots during that run, including connecting on six three-point goals. A Rouelle three and a pair of shuford free throws allowed Lyndon to trim their deficit to 54-45 at the half.
Both teams shot the ball at a blistering pace in the opening half. Lyndon connected on 15 of its 25 shots (60%), including making nine of 12 from behind the arc. UMF countered by making 21 of 36 (58.3%), including eight of 15 (53.3%) from distance. The difference in the opening half was that the Hornets turned the ball over 11 times, resulting in 12 Beaver points, while UMF only turned it over three times.
Darren Williams Jr. (Wiesbaden, Germany) converted a pair of free throws for the first points of the second half, bringing the Hornets within seven at 54-47. UMF answered with two Witham free throws and back to back threes from Robinson to increase their lead to 62-47 3:45 into the second half.
With the Beavers still up 14, 68-54, Shuford connected on a jumper and a pair of free throws, then CJ Jimmy (Modesto, CA) converted one of two from the line. Shuford followed with a layup, and the UMF lead was down to seven, 68-61, at the 11:20 mark. Robinson then scored inside, and Bull followed with a three to push the Beaver advantage back to 12 points.
After the teams traded several scores, Hicks connected from long range followed by a Witham layup, and UMF led 82-67 with just under eight minutes to go. The Beavers continued to build on their advantage until two Moss free throws gave them their biggest lead of the night, 97-76, with 3:45 remaining in the game. Lyndon then staged a strong closing rally, outscoring the visitors 22-9 the rest of the way, resulting in the final outcome.
For the game the Beavers made 34 of 58 shots (58.6%) including 13 of 21 (61.9%) from behind the arc. The Hornets converted on 32 of 60 attempts (53.3%), including 12 of 23 (52.2%) from long range. The Hornets held a 34-25 rebounding advantage but turned the ball over 22 times, compared to 15 for UMF.
Five players reached double figures for the Beavers, led by Robinson with 26 points and eight rebounds. Witham added 24 points and six assists, while Ruby, Hicks, and Moss chipped in with 18, 14, and 12 points respectively. Shuford led the Hornets with a game high 28 points while also pulling down ten rebounds. Rouelle added 19 points and Jahleel Gabriel (Springfield, MA) recorded a double double with 14 points and ten boards.
The Hornets will return to the hardwood on Saturday afternoon when they host Thomas College at 3:00 pm. The Beavers travel to Johnson State College on Saturday.