BIDDEFORD, Maine - Sophomore guard Conor Sullivan (Scarborough, Maine) scored a team-high 12 points to lead a balanced attack as the University of Southern Maine Huskies cruised to a season-opening 66-51 win on the road at the University of New England Nor'easters Tuesday night in Biddeford, Maine.
With the win Southern Maine starts its 2011-12 campaign with a 1-0 mark. The Nor'easters fall to 0-1 early in the season.
Although just Sullivan was just one of two USM players to crest double-digits in scoring, the Huskies, led by Sullivan's 5-for-9 effort from the field shot a solid 43.8 percent (28-for-64) from the field and had six players score at least six points to earn the win. Sophomore guard Brandon Tomah (Princeton, Maine/Calais) scored 11 points and had five assists, four rebounds and three steals in is USM debut. Senior guard Mike Poulin (Readfield, Maine/Maranacook) nine points and had four steals. Senior forward Ethan Cushman (Bangor, Maine/John Bapst) and senior guard Chris Pagentine (Lexington, N.C./North Davidson) tossed in eight points a piece.
UNE freshman Jordan Ferreira (Nantucket, Mass.) led the Nor'easters with 15 points and nine rebounds – both game-high totals. Freshman guard Jarryd Rossingnol (Caribou, Maine) added 10 points, five rebounds and three assists, while junior forward Alex Alsadi (Edina, Minn./Cactus Shadows) added 10 points and eight rebounds.
Ahead by five at the break, 28-23, Southern Maine outscored UNE 15-2 in the opening five minutes of the second half to break open the game. Sullivan scored five of his 12 points in the run and Poulin and Pagentine each scored four points.
The Huskies took their largest lead of the game, 55-29, with 10:49 to play following a jumper from junior guard Alex Kee (Bath, Maine/Morse) and never looked back. The Huskies remained in control the rest of the way led by as many as 19 points, 66-47, with just under to minutes to play.
The Nor'easters suffered from a sub-par 31.1 shooting percentage (19-for-61) and were hampered by 29 turnovers. Led by Poulin's four robberies, the Huskies forced 19 of the UNE miscues with steals
Southern Maine travels to Husson University on Friday (7:00 p.m.). The Nor'easters face Keene State College on Friday (7:00 p.m.) in the Keene State College Tip Off Tournament.