UMFK men’s basketball team advances to national semifinal, women lose

The University of Maine Fort Kent Bengals used a stifling first-half defense en route to an 80-71 men’s basketball victory over the Dean College Bulldogs in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Division I quarterfinals on Wednesday in Uniontown, Pennsylvania.

The Bengal women lost a quarterfinal match Wednesday to the second-seeded Florida College Lady Falcons, 64-51, but rebounded on Thursday morning with a win in the consolation game against The Apprentice School by a score of 78-71.

In the men’s game, the Bengals held the Bulldogs to an 8-for-29 effort from the field, 1-for-11 on 3-pointers. Dean scored just four points for the first seven minutes of the game as UMFK built a 15-4 lead.

The No. 7 Bulldogs would cut the lead to 21-15 with 7:40 to go on a Dayvon Russell 3-pointer but second-seeded UMFK would then stretch the lead to 37-21 on a Johnathon Caldwell 3-pointer. Caldwell hit all three long-range baskets for 15 points in the first half.

Dean would not go away, cutting the lead down to 45-41 before UMFK answered with a 14-5 run to extend its lead to 13 with 9:27 to play. The Bengals would go 9-for-12 from the line to secure the win.

UMFK’s Anthony Knight, the USCAA Player of the Year, scored 16 of his 24 points in the second half on 6-for-7 shooting while playing all 40 minutes. Caldwell finished with 22, while Troy Williams had 13. Benson Arogbo and Tom Enerva each grabbed nine rebounds.

Russell paced Dean with 20 points.

UMFK moved to a 10 p.m. Thursday semifinal against Oakwood University of Alabama.

In the women’s bracket, No. 2 Florida College (21-8) of Temple Terrace advanced to Friday’s semifinal round while No. 7 UMFK (10-12) played a consolation bracket contest at 8 a.m. Thursday.

Toni Cox and Keaundra Ivory each turned in a double-double to power the Lady Falcons on Wednesday. Each player had 14 points, with Cox grabbing 14 rebounds and Ivory 11. Sarah Lutz and Saje Schlatterer each chipped in with 11 points.

Savana Jankowski scored a game-high 24 points to pace UMFK, which surged to an 18-12 lead at the end of the first quarter before the Falcons responded. She also had five rebounds and two steals.

Kailee Dowler chipped in with 10 points for UMFK while Ashley Sauri contributed six rebounds and three assists.

In Thursday’s consolation matchup, the Bengals dug themselves a hole early as they trailed 10-2, but answered with a  10-2 run of their own to tie the game at 12 with 3:30 to go in the first quarter. Apprentice ended the quarter with a 12-3 run to open up a nine point lead heading into the second quarter. The Bengals kept chipping away, however, to tie the score at 35 at halftime.

UMFK ratcheted up their defense in the second half, causing the Builders to shoot only 25 percent from the floor. The Bengals meanwhile made 46 percent of their shots and were 16 of 22 from the foul line to take the win.

Jankowski was the star again with 30 on 8 of 10 shooting and was 14 for 15 from the free throw line. She also had a team high, nine rebounds. Bianca Gutierrez and Tate Dolley had 12 each.

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