Muniz drops 56 as UNE rolls, 139-104

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BIDDEFORD, Maine -- Drew Muniz shattered the University of New England men's basketball single-game scoring mark with 56 points and outdueled a 59-point performance by Curry's Jared Thorpe-Johnson in a 139-104 Commonwealth Coast Conference victory over Curry on Wednesday night, Jan. 30, at the Harold Alfond Forum.

The senior guard canned 12-of-16 from 3-point land, made all four of his two-point attempts, and was a flawless 12-for-12 at the free throw line to reach his total, which was more than three times his previous career-high (18). Muniz surpassed the program record of 45 points established by Derek Vogel of Westbrook College in the 1994-95 season. Westbrook closed and merged with UNE in the mid-1990s.

The dozen treys also made for a UNE game record, bettering the 11 by Steve Huntington in the 1998-99 campaign.

The 59 points is believed to be a Commonwealth Coast Conference record. Thorpe-Johnson converted on 22-of-29 from the field, with six 3-pointers, and a perfect 9-of-9 at the charity stripe. Like Muniz, the junior's point production netted a single-game record in Colonels history, 11 ahead of the previous standard that was logged in 1973. 

Muniz's was the third-highest individual scoring effort in Division III this year, behind the 62 points scored by Monmouth's Will Carius against Grinnell on Jan. 2, and Johnson's 59.

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University of New England athletics file photo

The Nor'easters (6-15, 4-8 CCC) racked up 81 points in the 1st half to lead by 23, which was the exact break in points off turnovers (32-9). UNE pressured the Colonels (1-19, 0-11) into coughing up possession 22 times during the period, and 38 throughout the contest.

Supporting the winning cause was DeMarquez Hadnot with 14 points, and Anthony Moynihan added 10. Daron Hoges, Jr.Avery DeBrito, and Alex Kravchuk all had nine points; Hoges also notched seven assists and four steals, while DeBrito posted six helpers and four thefts. Drew Patno grabbed 12 rebounds to go with five assists.

For Curry, Dwayne Boothe joined Thorpe-Johnson's double-double (also 10 rebounds) by going for 11 points and 13 boards. Jon Joel chipped in with seven points and seven assists.

The Nor'easters built a quick 13-3 lead after 3-pointers on four consecutive possessions, two coming from Muniz and the latter two coming from Hadnot. UNE held at least a 10 point lead for most of the half. The Nor'easters stretched the lead to as many as 23 before the halftime intermission as they entered the break with an 81-58 advantage. Muniz closed the first stanza with 32 points on 10-for-11 from the floor, 7-for-8 from distance, and a perfect 5-for-5 from the charity stripe. Thorpe-Johnson matched Muniz with 32 points of his own on 12-for-17 shooting and 6-for-6 from the free throw line in 18 first-half minutes.

Muniz and Thorpe-Johnson picked up right where they left off in the first half, combining for 51 total points in the second half. The Nor'easters led by as many as 44 in the final half en route to the 35-point win.

The Colonels registered its ninth game of the season of knocking down at least 10 triples, going 10-for-34. UNE matched a season-high with 21 made threes on 55 attempts, a mark that previously hit on Dec. 8 against Colby-Sawyer.