BANGOR, Maine – The Husson University Men's basketball team opened their season with a 75-54 victory over St. Joseph's (Maine) and a message of unity.
In a pregame ceremony, the Husson University Men's basketball team invited the Husson cheerleaders and St. Joe's players, along with safety and security, and members of local, county, and state law enforcement, to stand together, arms locked in solidarity.
"By standing together, we demonstrate our commitment to making our world a better place," echoed across the court from "Voice of the Eagles," Reid Durost as fans from both sides stood in support.
"Our goal is to create a better university, a better community, and a better nation. We invite you to join us in this effort. All of us here today need to be willing to hear someone else's story and see life through another person's lens. It begins by talking to one another.
We stand before you today speaking with one voice – and that united voice is saying, 'All together, all together better.'"
The message lifted the crowd and the Eagles as they started the game strong, running out to a commanding 34-19 lead by the end of the 1st half. Eli Itkin led the Eagles in the 1st half with seven points, Raheem Anderson and Zach Curran had six points each, and Alonzo McCain came off the bench to score five points to go along with three steals, which led all players in the 1st half. Mario Nery topped St. Joe's and all players with nine points with only nine on-court minutes.
St. Joe's started the second half with eight unanswered points, reducing the deficit to seven. That's about as close as St. Joe's came to pulling the game back, as Mitch Worcester took control of the game with 20 points in the 2nd half, including 13 points in the space of three minutes as the game clock ran down. Worcester shot an incredible four-for-five from behind the arch and six-for-six from the line. Justin Martin scored nine points in the half, and McCain added another seven points, as well as five assists.
The Eagles were in cruise control for most of the 2nd half, exemplified by a beautiful no-look pass from Eli Itkin to Martin for a driving jump shot. After a free throw from Curran and a response from St. Joe's, Worcester buried two three-point shots in quick succession, adding some finesse on a stellar individual performance, as well as a strong team performance to open the season.
Worcester finished the game with 22 points, leading all players. McCain finished with 12 points, and led all players with seven assists and four steals. Martin led all players with eight total rebounds. For St. Joe's, Mario Nery finished with 11 points, while Marc Corey completed six assists.
The 75-54 win is the first 20-point margin of victory for the Husson men against The Monks since 2008.
The Eagles continue their season at home against University of Maine at Presque Isle, on Saturday, November 19, at 2:00pm.