Men's basketball: UMaine-Farmington takes a run at Bowdoin in eventual loss

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The University of Maine at Farmington’s Riley Robinson (20) and Eric Berry (33) try to stop Bowdoin Colleges Liam Farley from going up for two points in basketball game at Morrell Gymnasium in Brunswick on Sunday.

BRUNSWICK — Bowdoin College men’s basketball coach Tim Gilbride said University of Maine at Farmington gave him an uneasy feeling, even with the Polar Bears holding a 10-point advantage going into the second half.

“I didn’t feel comfortable with this game everywhere,” Gilbride, whose Polar Bears prevailed with an 87-67 win over UMF on Sunday, said, “even when we were up 10, because I know that they can execute and make plays down the stretch and (head coach Dick Meader) will do a good job with them.”

The Beavers’ impressive defense kept gnawing at the Polar Bears (8-2) the entire game, but UMF’s shooting was erratic at best in the second half and those missed shots allowed Bowdoin to remain in control.

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What kept UMF (4-5) alive and well, besides its defense, was its shooting from the free-throw line. The Beavers made 21 of their 26 shots from the charity stripe.

Bowdoin’s height and its marksmanship from the perimeter was also overpowering and certainly slowed down the Beavers. Bowdoin’s roster features eight players over 6 feet, 4 inches.

“So some teams we play we match up evenly with, but against these guys we had a height advantage for sure,” Gilbride said. “I thought we got some good extra passing to guys to get the ball to the shooters. I thought we did a good job with that tonight.”

The Polars Bears’ 6-foot-5 guard David Reynolds hit six of Bowdoin’s 11 3-pointers. He scored a game-high 26 points and pulled down 11 of the Polar Bears’ 35 rebounds.

“We would make a shot and miss two or three,” Meader said. “Defensively, we did a nice job. We made stops, but we couldn’t make two in a row offensively.

“Our passing … a number of times balls weren’t catchable,” Meader said. “That was tough (height advantage). We gave up a lot inside. There was not a heckuva lot we could do about that.”

“It was disappointing,” Meader added. “You do the job defensively and offensively we are in a shooting slump. We are still a good team and we have to realize it, but offensively we have to straighten out some things.”

The closest the Beavers got to the Polar Bears was three points in the opening minutes of the first half. But by halftime, Bowdoin led 43-33.

Six-foot-6 forward Jack Simonds scored 17 points and 6-foot-5 forward Liam Farley dropped in 10 to help Bowdoin’s cause.

UMF’s 6-foot-3 sophomore forward Bill Ruby turned in a team-high 16 points and senior guard Eric Berry (three 3-pointers) and sophomore guard Riley Robinson each scored 15 points.

“I like the way their team is,” Gilbride said. “I think they are one of the better coached teams around. So they go to their strengths and No. 11 (Isaac Witham) is a tough matchup for people. He does a good job. No. 20 (Riley Robinson) is a real good shooter and they work the other guys into spots where they can be effective.

“So I think they are extremely well coached and they do a good job,” Gilbride said.

UMF’s Eric Berry drives to the net as teammate Milani Hicks (22) looks on in the first half of a men’s basketball game at Morrell Gymnasium in Brunswick on Sunday.UMF’s Bill Ruby (24) guards Bowdoin’s David Reynolds (23) during a men’s basketball game at Morrell Gymnasium in Brunswick on Sunday.

The University of Maine at Farmington’s Riley Robinson (20) and Eric Berry (33) try to stop Bowdoin Colleges Liam Farley from going up for two points in a basketball game at Morrell Gymnasium in Brunswick on Sunday. (Tony Blasi/Sun Journal)

UMF’s Eric Berry drives around Bowdoin’s Zavier Rucker (3) in the first half of a men’s basketball game at Morrell Gymnasium in Brunswick on Sunday. (Tony Blasi/Sun Journal).

UMF’s Eric Berry drives to the net as teammate Milani Hicks (22) looks on in the first half of a men’s basketball game at Morrell Gymnasium in Brunswick on Sunday.

UMF’s Bill Ruby (24) guards Bowdoin’s David Reynolds (23) during a men’s basketball game at Morrell Gymnasium in Brunswick on Sunday.  (Tony Blasi/Sun Journal).

UMF’s Eric Berry drives around Bowdoin’s Zavier Rucker (3) in the first half of a men’s basketball game at Morrell Gymnasium in Brunswick on Sunday.

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