WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - The University of Maine men's basketball team fell to Hartford by the score of 68-61 on Wednesday afternoon at Chase Arena. Maine falls to 7-9 overall and 2-1 in America East play while Hartford improves to 10-6 and 3-0 in league play. Maine was led by its America East Player of the Game Jon Mesghna (Frankfurt, Germany) who had 17 points and six rebounds.
Hartford took an 18-9 lead midway through the first half, but Maine went on a 12-to-3 run courtesy of six points from Mesghna to knot the game at 21 with 6:37 left.
The Hawks answered with a 13-to-4 run to end the half, taking a 34-27 lead into intermission.
Mesghna led Maine with 11 points in the first half while Fraser added eight. Justin Edwards (Whitby, Ontario) added four points and four assists.
Maine scored the first five points of the second half on layups from Mike Allison (Lynden, Ontario) and Fraser and a Xavier Pollard (Bronx, N.Y.) free throw to close the gap to two.
Edwards closed the gap to 37-36 when he jammed home a Fraser miss, but Hartford answered with the next five points to push the lead to six.
The Hawks held a six-point lead at 51-45 with under seven minutes remaining, but a Mesghna three-pointer from the corner cut the lead back to three.
The teams exchanged buckets and after a pair of Edwards free throws with 3:20 left Hartford had a 57-55 lead.
On the ensuing Hawk possession, Maine forced a turnover but the Black Bears missed a three-pointer and Hartford converted on the other end to take a 59-55 lead.
Hartford took a 63-55 lead with1:19 left, but layups by Edwards and Pollard made it a four-point game with under a minute remaining.
However, the Hawks were able to convert late free throws to push the game just out of reach of the Black Bears.
Fraser finished with 16 points and seven rebounds while Edwards had 17 points, seven assists and four rebounds.
Maine shot 38.3 percent from the field while Hartford shot 52.2 percent. Maine held a 35-29 edge in rebounding.