Men’s Basketball: Huskies split pair, fall to conference foe GSU

Men’s Basketball: Huskies split pair, fall to conference foe GSU

In a rare break from Colonial Athletic Association play, the men’s basketball team beat former America East rival Maine, 71-61, Saturday in the ESPN Bracket Busters Tournament.

“The familiarity with being an old America East rival helped them stay focused,” said head coach Bill Coen. “There is a natural competitiveness there. While there may be a little shift in focus from the conference play, whenever you have an opportunity to go out and face an opponent you have to be ready to play.”

Senior co-captain Bennet Davis rebounded from a poor performance at Georgia State Wednesday with 19 points, five board and four blocks to lead the Huskies in the win versus Maine.

Senior co-captains Bobby Kelly and Adrian Martinez also scored in double-digits with 17 and 11, respectively.

Northeastern opened up a 16-point lead in the first half and limited Maine to 1-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc.

The Huskies continued to dominate in the opening minutes of the second half and extended their lead to 20 with less than 15 minutes remaining. The Black Bears outscored NU 42-36 in the half but were unable to take the lead as the Huskies shot 77 percent from the free-throw line to win the game, 71-61.

On Wednesday, the Huskies were looking for their second road win of the season at Georgia State but fouls and turnovers troubled NU in the 71-65 loss.

Davis, the Huskies’ leading scorer, was limited to seven points.

“Bennet only played four minutes in the first half due to foul trouble,” Coen said. “He came right out after and in the first two or three plays of the game got himself in foul trouble. I don’t know if it’s so much what they did to limit him but if you’re in foul trouble and not on the court it’s hard to score.”

The Huskies had 17 turnovers in the game, allowing GSU to keep the lead throughout.

“It was a game that we had a chance to win on the road,” Coen said. “We had a seven-point lead in the first half and kind of squandered that in the last minute of the first half. In the second half we had another seven-point lead and it was really just the turnovers. We had empty possessions where we came down and turned the ball over, which led to some easy baskets for Georgia State and we got ourselves behind.”

Northeastern was down by 10 with 24 seconds remaining in the game and scored eight unanswered points to pull within two points. A pair of Georgia State free throws iced the game for the Panthers.

Northeastern will play at Delaware tonight. The last-place Fightin’ Blue Hens are 3-13 in the CAA and 5-23 overall. The Huskies topped Delaware 73-64 at Matthews Arena Jan. 27.

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