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Bengals fall to Rochester

ROCHESTER HILLS, Michigan – The University of Maine at Fort Kent men’s basketball team went toe to toe with the number-one team in USCAA D1 and NAIA D2 #4, Rochester College, but fell in the end, 83-76, on Saturday afternoon.

The Bengals got off to a flying start where they held a 14-point lead in the first half thanks to some suffocating defense, where UMFK got stops on 10 consecutive possessions at one point and put together a 20-2 run over an eight-minute stretch. The Bengals shot 47 percent in the first half and held Rochester to just 35 percent.

The game was a tale of two halves, however, as Rochester came out of the locker room and turned a six-point halftime deficit to a 10-point lead 10 minutes into the half. UMFK would continue to chip away at the lead, cutting it to 76-71 on a Fred Sanchez three-point field goal, but Rochester hit two timely shots to seal the deal.

Rosevelt Smith Jr. led UMFK with 19 points and eight rebounds. Bobby Syvanthong had 16 points, seven rebounds, six assists and five steals. Joe McCloskey had 15 points and 11 rebounds but was held to just 4-13 from the floor. Travis Harlin was saddled with foul trouble all night but finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.

Rochester was led by All-American and front runner for USCAA Player of the Year, Angelo Griffis, who scored 23 points and hit two threes down the stretch. Jaylen Larry had 19 points and 16 rebounds and Justin Nafso had 11 assists.

UMFK will conclude its regular season with Machias on Friday and UMPI on Sunday. UMFK is currently third in the USCAA polls and should be on their way to the USCAA national tournament in late February.

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