Thomas Tops UMPI, 69-45, to Close Out Non-Conference Slate

Thomas Tops UMPI, 69-45, to Close Out Non-Conference Slate

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine --- The Thomas College men's basketball team closed out its non-conference schedule with a 69-45 win at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.

Tyheem Simon scored a game-high 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting to lead Thomas (5-5). He was also 6-of-9 at the free throw line, pulled down six rebounds and had three assists.

UMPI (4-7) made the game's first run, taking an 8-2 lead after just four minutes. Behind eight points from Simon, who ended the half with 10, the Terriers responded with a 16-2 run to take an 18-10 lead with 7:39 to play before halftime.

Thomas held the UMPI to just six made field goals in the first half and controlled the boards by a 20-10 margin, but the Owls stayed in the game by going 10-for-12 from the foul line. UMPI also forced Thomas into 11 turnovers.

Kevin Collins pulled the Owls back into the game, scoring five straight points before a jumper by Adam Carlsen reestablished a five-point lead with 4:54 to play. UMPI used late free throws to cut the lead to three at 23-20 with 1:17 left, but Justin Murray responded with a three-pointer on Thomas' next trip down the floor.

UMPI's Quinton Harris hit a jumper with 40 seconds to play to make it 26-22 Thomas headed to the locker room.

The Owls' pressure continued to start the second half as UMPI cut the lead to 32-29 on a Maurice Harris jumper with 17:24 play, but they would get no closer. Simon hit a jumper just under the 17:00 mark and Dayne Savage had back-to-back hoops for the Terriers to extend the lead back to double-digits.

Thomas outscored UMPI, 20-6, over the final 7:27 to put the game out of reach.

In the second half, the Terriers cut their turnover total to just two while shooting 57.7 percent (15-of-26) from the field. Thomas also drained four three-pointers in the period, including three late in the game by Mike Akanji. Akanji had 11 second-half points en route to 13 overall. He also had seven rebounds.

In addition to Simon and Akanji, Carlos Gonzalez also cracked double-figures in scoring with 11 while also pulling down eight rebounds. Savage finished with eight points, eight rebounds and three assists.

UMPI was led by Kevin Collins, who finished the game with 11 points. Brandon McGill added eight off the bench. Maurice Harris and Kim Collins each had a team-high four rebounds.

Thomas finished the game shooting 52.0 percent from the field (26-of-50) while winning the rebounding battle, 38-20.

With its non-conference slate concluded, the Terriers are idle until Tuesday, January 5 when they travel to rival UMaine-Farmington.