BANGOR — Ben Johnson knew he was approaching a couple of milestones and felt the pressure might have gotten to him a little bit. His coach, Dick Meader, was quick to credit the opposition.
Johnson, a Maranacook Community School graduate and University of Maine at Farmington junior, overcame those nerves and scored 15 points to surpass the 1,000-point milestone for his career. He also grabbed four rebounds to surpass 600 for his career as the Beavers beat Husson 77-67 in a North Atlantic Conference men’s basketball game Tuesday evening.
“Some of my teammates were teasing me a little bit about it, but we tried not to make a big deal of it,” said Johnson, who now has 1,005 points and 601 rebounds in his career. “There was a lot more at stake in this one.”
UMF improves to 19-5 overall and 14-3 in the conference. With the win, the Beavers secured the No. 1 seed in the upcoming NAC tournament. Husson falls to 15-9, 12-5 in the conference.
Johnson reached the milestone from the foul line, an area of his game he has made tremendous strides in, according to Meader.
“Ben is really worthy of his milestone,” Meader said. “He is really the hardest worker in practice, he doesn’t take a play off and he is a very willing listener. It is unbelieve how much he has improved.”
Johnson, who became the 24th player in school history to top 1,000 points, said he felt some pressure to reach the milestone early.
“I don’t know if the pressure got to him, they were dropping a guy in and giving help,” Meader said. “He did bang a couple off the backboard, like he was hurrying, but he was patient and did a nice job with it.”
Andrew Dickey and Nate Carson each scored 21 points to lead UMF. Dickey also had 11 rebounds.
“Dickey and Carson did a great job,” Johnson said. “Without those two, I don’t think we would have won.”
Richmond graduate Marc Zaharchuk scored 11 points for Husson. Corey Wood added 15 and Aaron Willis also had 11.