Bengals fall to Knights
MANHATTAN, New York — The University of Maine at Fort Kent men’s basketball team battled with the top team in the USCAA for 40 minutes but ultimately the depth and physicality of the Knights was too much to overcome. The Bengals dropped the contest, 89-83 on Saturday afternoon.
Berkeley has now won 16 in a row and is 72-1 in the last three-plus seasons, according to Tom Bird, UMFK’s head men’s basketball coach.
Berkeley College led early 12-3, and 21-10, just 8:49 into the contest, but the Bengals stormed back, going on a 23-9 run over the ensuing 6:37 to take a 33-30 lead. UMFK forced five Berkeley turnovers and converted the fast break points. The Knights would then answer by netting eight consecutive points and would eventually take a 44-38 lead into the locker room at halftime.
UMFK again got off to a slow start in the half, and Berkeley would balloon the lead to 54-42 with 15:39 remaining in the contest. The Bengals continued to fight, cutting the lead to 68-64 with 8:19 remaining. But ultimately offensive rebounds and second chance points would do UMFK in as Berkeley dominated the glass for a stretch in the second half, and Berkeley would answer with an 8-0 run thanks to two put backs to take a 76-64 advantage with 6:15 to play.
Down 82-69, the Bengals would score six quick points consecutive points over just a 40-second span to close the lead to seven. UMFK would hit a three, force another turnover and cut the lead to four points with the ball but a missed three and Berkeley rebound sealed the deal. The Knights seven converted on seven of its eight free throw attempts inside the final minute to seal the victory.
UMFK out-rebounded Berkeley, the first time an opponent had done that all season, but shot just 38% from the floor.
Anthony Knight led UMFK with 27 points, 19 in the second half alone, nine rebounds and four steals. Bobby Syvanthong nearly had another triple double with nine points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. He also had five steals. Troy Williams had 16 and Jarid Walton finished with 12.
This loss snaps UMFK’s winning streak at 12. The Bengals hadn’t lost since November 22nd when they dropped a contest to NCAA D1, Vermont.