FARMINGTON — In a fierce battle against its rival, the University of Maine at Farmington men’s basketball team managed to hang on. Barely.

The Beavers edged Thomas College 72-67 in a North Atlantic Conference game Tuesday night at Dearborn Gym.

The win snapped a three-game losing skid for the Beavers (7-5, 3-2 NAC), who had more than a month off from games between Dec. 11 and Jan. 18, dealing with five canceled games in between.

“Any win through this adversity is a great win,” said UMF head coach Sam Leal. “We’re sticking together through it all, like all teams are. Injuries, COVID, so many challenges… A win is excellent under all these conditions. (The remaining games) are going to be competitive and tough.”

Jack Kane led UMF with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while top scorer Terion Moss – in his first game back after missing the last three due to COVID – added 13 points.

“It feels good (to win),” said UMF senior Silas Mohlar, a Maranacook graduate, who finished with nine points and went 6-for-6 at the foul line to help seal the win late in the second half. “Especially in conference play, with Thomas being close by. It’s always a tough game to play, (Thomas) always comes up here and plays well. It feels good to get the win and get back on track.”


Thomas fell to 4-8 overall (1-5 NAC). The Terriers were led by point guard Demetris Webster, who scored 19 points and had nine assists. Trevor Reed scored 12 points for Thomas, while Lokiron Anda added 10 points.

The Beavers and Terriers exchanged seven lead changes in the first half. Thomas jumped out to an 8-0 run to start the game. UMF responded with a 13-0 run of its own, only to be answered by a 7-0 run by the Terriers. The duo of Moss and Kane paced the Beavers late in the half, helping UMF to a 37-30 halftime lead. Kane led the Beavers with 12 points in the half.

UMF held the lead to start the second half, but the Terriers would not go away. A Kory Winch 3-pointer led a 9-0 run by Thomas, which took a 55-51 lead. But UMF quickly responded with a 6-0 run of its own, highlighted by a Kane dunk, for a 57-55 lead.

“I really am (proud of the team),” Thomas head coach Deshon Gaither said. “When out of your eight losses, maybe five or six of them the same way, you’re ahead. We get these four-point, five-point losses, as a coach, it weighs on you. But the one consistency I can say with a young team – and I stress, we are young – is the fact that they’re not scared of anything. They played hard as bleep. But we’re not at that level yet where we can cover our mistakes.”

Forest Hills graduate Parker Desjardins nailed a jumper to tie the game 57-57 for Thomas with 2:14 remaining. But UMF would have an 8-0 run that would help seal the game, aided by Mohlar’s six free throws.

The men’s game was the first of a doubleheader, with the UMF women’s basketball team picking up a 70-52 win over Thomas in the second game. Page Brown and Tia Day each led the Beavers (7-6, 2-3 NAC) with 15 points, while Bea Stafford added 11 points.

Like the men’s team, the UMF women had also gone a month without basketball before picking the regular season back up over the weekend against Husson University.

“It felt good (to pick up the victory against Thomas),” UMF head coach Nate Carson said. “We had over a month without a game. We had a good weekend against Husson, just not the outcome you want. The ladies did well tonight to get what we wanted. I was very impressed and happy for them.”

Anna Piirainen led the Terriers (2-11, 1-4 NAC) with 14 points, while Samantha Fortin scored 13 points. Kaylee Ravagli added 12 points for Thomas.

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