BANGOR — New coach, similar results … so far.

To be fair, new University of Maine men’s basketball coach Richard Barron has overseen the Black Bears’ program for only seven games. The rebuild is in its infant stages.

Maine did not take steps forward Wednesday night as it dropped a 73-59 decision to the Princeton Tigers in its home opener before about 300 fans at Cross Insurance Center.

The Black Bears fell to 0-7. Princeton is 3-2.

“We let the fans down a little bit, but we’ll keep working,” said 6-foot-7 junior forward Andrew Fleming of Oxford Hills.

Fleming played the whole game, scored 19 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had four assists.


Isaiah White, a 6-5 junior guard from Ellicott, Maryland, also scored 19 points. Freshman point guard Terion Moss of Portland came off the bench to add seven points.

Princeton senior guard Devin Cannady led all scorers with 28 points, making 5 of 8 3-pointers.

“We tried — obviously not well enough — to prepare our guys for what we would see in him,” Barron said of Cannady. “But he’s extremely good.”

Princeton shot 50 percent from behind the arc (11 for 22).

“We have the ability to shoot it,” Princeton coach Mitch Henderson said.

Henderson knows Maine “is struggling a little bit … They’ve had the absolutely worst schedule.”


Beginning with six games on the road, including stops in Denver, Utah and North Carolina State, the Black Bears took the losses but sensed progress.

“We showed in a lot of situations where we played with those high-level teams,” said Fleming, who is averaging 11.9 points. “We can get a lot of confidence from it.”

Barron, 49, replaced the fired Bob Walsh. He has rebuilt a Maine team before, coaching the women’s team for 5 1/2 seasons. A medical issue forced him to step away midway through the 2016-17 season.

Rebuilding the men’s team will be a challenge. Unlike the women’s program, which has a history of conference titles and NCAA tournament appearances, the Maine men have never been to the NCAAs and have had only one winning season since 2004.

Walsh was 24-100 in four years, including 6-26 last season.

Barron has a few leftovers from last year, led by White, Fleming and 6-7 senior Llija Stojiljkovic. Those three and a trio of newcomers — 6-8 sophomore Vilgot Larsson, 6-4 junior Sergio El Darwich and the 5-10 Moss — are Barron’s only regulars. Returning junior Vincent Eze was the only other player who got into the game against Princeton, playing six minutes.

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