WATERVILLE — The Thomas College men’s basketball players wore the incredulous looks of a team that was beyond irritated with the officiating. But on Saturday afternoon against Husson, too many of the Terriers’ wounds were self-inflicted.

Thomas had some mental breakdowns, committed 20 turnovers, shot 53 percent from the free-throw line, and pulled down 19 fewer rebounds than the Eagles. The result was that Husson earned a regular-season sweep with an 82-72 victory at Larry Mahaney Gymnasium.

“We were outcoached and outplayed and outworked in pretty much every aspect of the game,” Thomas coach T.J. Maines said. “I didn’t think we did a lot of things very well. Mentally, we weren’t very tough today.”

Maines felt the play of Martin Cleveland (24 points, 11-of-12 shooting, 12 rebounds) was an obvious bright spot, but he seemed most upset about his team’s effort. Thomas, which lost to Husson 77-70 earlier this month, is now 9-6 overall and 6-4 in the North Atlantic Conference.

“The next time we get on the ground for a loose ball will be the first time,” Maines said. “That’s driving me crazy. We’re just not very tough right now, and that’s my fault. That’s not the kids’ fault. I’ve got to be a heck of a lot more demanding than what I am right now.”

There were three technical fouls called in the first half — one on Maines and one each on Husson’s Marc Zaharchuk and Thomas’ Rob Nutter. Zaharchuk, a Richmond grad who came in averaging 14.8 points per game, was benched for the rest of the day after his technical and finished with two points in three minutes.

“We’re 5-10. We don’t have room for error anymore,” Husson coach Warren Caruso said. “We’ve got to make sure we’re playing at a level every night that we expect from all our guys. That’s something we just can’t have at this point.”

The Eagles (6-10 overall, 6-4 in the conference) had enough depth to keep rolling, as Wes Murphy played six minutes and scored 12 points, and Lawrence graduate Dan Fleming grabbed eight rebounds in 17 minutes.

Husson led 41-32 at the half, and behind Cleveland and Jarrad DeVaughn (19 points), the Terriers got as close as one point on two occasions. But with 5:27 to go and Thomas down 65-62, the Terriers missed two free throws, then allowed Husson’s Daeshawn McMorrin (21 points, 13 rebounds) to slip away for an uncontested layup. McMorrin would score eight points in the final six minutes.

Thomas’ last mistake came after Cleveland hit a free throw with 26 seconds left to get the Terriers within 78-72. Thomas took nearly 10 seconds to commit a foul, and by that point, it was too late.

“A loss for us would have meant probably a first-round (playoff) game on the road,” Caruso said. “We’re still a work in progress, but we’re starting to build some momentum.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

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