Turnovers Costly as UMF Upends Thomas, 76-66

Turnovers Costly as UMF Upends Thomas, 76-66

FARMINGTON, Maine --- Thomas College senior Mike Akanji (Lincoln, R.I.) drained five three-pointers en route to a game-high 21 points but 11 second-half turnovers by the Terriers coupled with hot shooting in the second half by UMaine-Farmington allowed the Beavers to capture a 76-66 North Atlantic Conference win at Dearborn Gymnasium.

Early on it was the Dayne Savage (Caribou, Maine) show for Thomas (5-6, 1-3 NAC) as the plucky freshman scored eight straight points for the Terriers to extend an early 4-3 lead to 12-5 with 13:48 to play in the first half.

The Beavers (1-9, 1-3 NAC) chipped away at the lead, though, scoring eight straight points over the next 3:39 to take a 13-12 lead on a Nick Hilton layup midway through the period.

Neither team could gain serious momentum as the half drew to a close. Levi Barnes (Skowhegan, Maine) drained a three-pointer with 1:24 to play to give Thomas a 27-24 lead at the break.

Savage opened the second half with a jumper and Akanji drained a trio of threes over the next five minutes, but UMF answered every salvo with one of its own.
After a layup by Tyheem Simon (Far Rockaway, N.Y.) gave the Terriers a 40-39 lead at the 14:14 mark, the Beavers went on a 10-0 run to wrest the lead back from their rivals - one they would not relinquish. 

Thomas would cut the deficit to three on a trey by Adam Carlsen (Rockport, Maine) with 7:51 to play but would get no closer. UMF missed only three shots from the field and was 7-of-11 at the free-throw line over the final 7:26 to put the game away.

The Terriers won the battle on the boards, 43-33, and shot 41.8 percent (23-of-55) from the floor compared to the Beavers' 44.4 percent (28-of-63) but couldn't overcome 20 turnovers. 

The Beavers shot only 29 percent (9-of-31) in the first half but caught fire in the second to hit at a 59.4 percent clip (19-of-32). UMF was also 7-of-8 from behind the arc in the second half and held a 23-3 edge in points off turnovers.

Akanji finished 8-of-11 from the field and pulled down seven rebounds to lead Thomas. Levi Barnes added 14 points and Dayne Savage 12, while Carlos Gonzalez (Kennebunk, Maine) posted seven points and pulled in 14 rebounds.

Barnes had his first significant playing time since December 4 at Green Mountain and has now pushed his career scoring total to 1,494 points. He currently ranks ninth in program history.

UMF had four players in double-figures, led by 19 off the bench from Anfernee Dent. Nick Hilton added 15 and Logan Nichols 10, while Sean Murphy posted a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double.

The Terriers return to Larry Mahaney Gymnasium on Friday evening when they host Lyndon State in the first game of a six-game homestand.