FARMINGTON, Maine – The University of Maine at Farmington men's basketball team reached the 20-win mark in its final regular season contest, trouncing Thomas College, 82-64, in a North Atlantic Conference contest Saturday afternoon at Dearborn Gym.
UMaine-Farmington's 20-5 overall record with Saturday's win is just the fourth 20-win season in school history, and one shy of the program record.
The Beavers, who finished 15-3 in conference play, captured the top seed for next week's NAC Tournament, and will host eighth-seeded New England College on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Dearborn Gym. Tip-off time will be set on Sunday.
Thomas College (13-11, 9-9 NAC) also earned a berth in the NAC Tournament as the fifth seed, and will travel to fourth-seeded Colby-Sawyer College for its quarterfinal matchup.
Juniors Ben Johnson (Manchester, Maine/Maranacook) and Garrett Clemmer (Windham, Maine/Windham) paced UMaine-Farmington with 20 points each. Johnson was 6-of-12 from the floor and 8-of-10 at the free-throw line, while Clemmer connected on seven of his 12 field goal attemtps – three of which were 3-pointers. Johnson also completed the double-double with 16 rebounds.
Andrew Dickey (Cape Elizabeth, Maine/Cape Elizabeth) charted 18 points and eight rebounds, while Yusuf Iman (Auburn, Maine/Edward Little) logged nine points with four assists.
Thomas also had three players in double digits, led by Franklin Salvador with 16 points. Salvador was 6-of-16 from the field, but four of those field goals were 3-pointers. Jarrad DeVaughn finished with 14 points and four assists, while Levi Barnets tallied 14 points.
The Beavers used their decided height advantage to control the boards, outworking the Terriers 42 to 19 in rebounding. Thomas' 20 personal fouls also sent UMF to the foul line 25 times, where the Beavers connected on 20. The Terriers were just 5-of-6 at the charity stripe on Farmington's seven fouls.
Thomas still managed to make a late charge at UMF. The Beavers led by 14 points at the 12:42 mark of the second half and seemed to have the game well in hand. The Terriers embarked on a 14-3 run from that point, and pulled to within three, 61-58, on a Salvador 3-pointer with 9:15 remaining.
A Johnson jumper and foul shots on consecutive trips down the floor quickly had the UMF lead back to seven points. Clemmer was fouled while shooting a three on the Beavers' next trip down the court, and he converted all three free throws to extend UMF's lead to 10 points and end the threat.