Auburn, ME – Key contributions from a variety of players tonight fueled CM to an emotional 76-75 win over the University of Maine at Machias in the pre lim round of the Yankee Conference Tournament. CM, seeded #4 and Machias #5, both played the game with a furiously intensity with the Mustangs avenging a 24-point thrashing by the Clippers in Kirk Hall the previous weekend. However, this game was different, the winner advances, the loser goes home.
The Mustangs had their backs against the wall from the opening tip. Captain and point guard Corey David sat out the game with ligament issues. Big man Josh Chery picked up his third foul at the ten minute mark in the first half and CM's other big, Cody Tozier, went out early with a concussion. Like it has been all season for the Mustangs, next man up!!! And up they came. Mark McDonald and Matt Attard combined for 25 points off the bench, Kionno Nelson came in and hit two huge threes, and Elijah Barbour added 10 points, all off the bench.
The Mustangs jumped up early taking a six-point lead and holding that lead going into the last three minutes of the half. A late run by the Clippers tied the game 34-34 at the half. Solid contributions from Malik Farley (9 points, 8 rebounds) and Cam Duncan (6 points, 6 rebounds) led the first half attack.
CM took the lead on their first offensive possession and never looked back, and never lost the lead again. CM's patterned half-court trap caused fits for the Clippers all game. Machias turned the ball over 25 times with some coming in key moments.
Despite an all American performance from one of the best players ever to play in the Yankee Conference, Machias' Trey Thompson (22 points, 19 rebounds) the Mustangs contained the visitors holding them to a 8-28 three point shooting night.
McDonald led the Mustangs with 19 points and 4 rebounds, and Barbour added 10 point's.
The win propels the Mustangs into the Yankee Conference final four scheduled for next weekend, February 23rd and 24th with CM hosting the tournament.