Bengals lose in semifinal game 77-72
The University of Maine at Fort Kent men’s basketball team fell in the semifinals of the USCAA Division I Basketball Championships late Thursday evening, 77-72 to Oakwood University.
The Bengals were up to the task early as USCAA Player of the Year Anthony Knight scored six early points to give his team a 10-6 lead in the game played in Uniontown, Pennsylvania.
The offense, however, got stagnant and Oakwood’s run and gun offense started firing as they reeled 18 of the next 22 points to take a 24-14 lead. Following a time out, the Bengals responded behind the hot hand of Johnathon Caldwell and ended the first half on a 23-8 run to take a five point advantage into halftime.
In the second half, UMFK built a seven point lead, 47-40, thanks to a driving layup by Knight with 14:27 to go. But Oakwood fired back with 10 of the next 12 points to take a one point advantage. From there, neither team led by more than three points until the very end. With the score tied at 60 with a little over seven minutes to play, an Oakwood layup would give the Ambassadors a lead they would never again relinquish. UMFK had chances on seven different possessions to either tie or take the lead but couldn’t get a shot to go.
The Bengals shot just 4 of 22 from beyond the three-point arc, including 1 of 15 in the second half. The downfall all year for UMFK was at the free throw line where the Bengals shot just 63 percent as a team. On Thursday, they made just 14 of 28 foul shots, including 8 of 17 in the second half.
Knight led UMFK with a game high 26 points and showed that there was no mistake in his being selected Player of the Year. The Bengals also got 15 points from Troy Williams and 12 from Caldwell, but the two combined to shoot just 3 of 16 from behind the arc.
UMFK finishes its season at 23-9, the third consecutive year they have won 20 or more games and the second consecutive final four finish at the USCAA National Championships. It was the final game in a Bengal uniform for Knight and fellow seniors, Benson Arogbo, Travis Harlin Jr., and Bobby Syvanthong.