(FREDERICTON, NB) The University of Maine-Fort Kent Bengals scored a 74-67 win over the Bishop’s University Gaiters, in the opening game of the University of New Brunswick’s annual Eric Garland Tournament.
Roosevelt Smith Jr.(Fairfield, CA) scored 16 points to lead the Bengals.
Jona Bermillo(Montreal, QC) had 11 points for the Gaiters, while Abdul Kamane(Montreal, QC) had 10.
“It was a great first outing for us,” said Bengals head coach Tom Bird. “They hit us first, but we responded, something we haven’t done the last couple of years, and fought back and were the tougher team, I thought.”
The Gaiters led 19-16 after one quarter, but it was the Bengals who led at the half, outscoring Bishop’s 16-8 in the second.
The Bengals erupted for 24 points in the third quarter, and never looked back.
“We did some good things, but at times we showed out inexperience,” said Gaiters head coach Rod Gilpin. “I’m not too worried about it, it’s September 30th.”
The Bengals had to adjust to playing with a 24-second shot clock, instead of their usual 30.
Bird felt that actually worked to their benefit.
“Every team we play is looking to run, but that also suits our game, we’re much better when we can get out in transition, so that suits us too.”
“We definitely put a little more value on playing CIS teams, but the team we played today was very good,” said Gilpin.
The Bengals now prepare to face the Saint Mary’s Huskies, on Saturday, while the Gaiters take on the host UNB Varsity Reds.