The America East followed up a nice start to the 2012-2013 campaign with a dud. Hartford lost valiantly, a Maine team that is supposed to have finally distanced itself from the collapses of seasons past was embarrassed by a bad Dartmouth squad.
Most embarrassing of all, New Hampshire murdered a Division III squad. If the league is banning members from post-season play (which is well within the league’s rights and we have no bones with) and drop their RPI requirements for opponents (ditto), we’d also like to see it put the kibosh on non-DI games, like yesterday.
Dartmouth 67, Maine 54
Ouch. If this is supposed to be the Black Bears’ year (so was last year, and the year before that, and the year before that), this certainly was not the way to start it.
Maine was soundly thumped by a bottom of the barrel Ivy League team fielding the second most inexperienced roster in all of college basketball. The Black Bears shot just 36% from the floor, 15% from three, turned the ball over 17 times to just seven assists, and generally made a team that won a whopping total of five games last season look like world beaters.
The loss was hardly an encouraging sign for a Black Bears that has ended each of the past three seasons in Hindenburg-esque fashion.
OBW Preseason First Team All-Conference pick Alasdair Fraser took just four shots, finishing with two points and eight rebounds, turned the ball over five times and fouled out in 36 minutes of action. His limited touches were quite concerning. Last season Fraser emerged as the Black Bears best, most reliable (and at times unstoppable) offensive weapon, yet found himself lost in the offense down the stretch.
Sophomore Justin Edwards, who looked like a world beater during the first half of last season, scored 12 points, but on 4-of-12 shooting to go along with four turnovers. In his debut at point guard, Xavier Pollard – a natural all-energy combo guard – made a big impact on the defensive end with four steals, but sputtered running the offense, scoring 10 points on 4-of-14 shooting
Senior forward Mike Allison was the lone bright spot for the Black Bears, scoring 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting while pulling down 11 rebounds. (more…)