By Michael Petillo
Jordan Roland tallied 28 points and the Northeastern Huskies defended home court against the Maine Black Bears, winning 78–63 on Wednesday night. Roland notched his 1,000th career point while leading the Huskies to their second consecutive win.
Northeastern (5–4) started slowly, committing turnovers on each of their first three possessions before a Roland three broke the ice.
The Huskies outplayed Maine (2–6) for most of the first half, getting scoring bursts from freshman Tyson Walker and redshirt sophomore Jason Strong to maintain a solid margin for most of the period. The Black Bears moved the ball well, however, keeping the game close by beating the Northeastern defense on several backdoor cuts for easy layups.
Northeastern coach Bill Coen made the necessary adjustments at halftime to slow the Maine attack. The Huskies built a double-digit lead and held it for most of the second half.
“I thought it was just a bigger commitment to our original game plan. We did it better and with more urgency in the second half,” Coen said.
Northeastern turned up their defensive intensity, turning 16 Maine turnovers into 22 points. Walker and Bolden Brace paced the team with four steals each.
Maine mounted a comeback with around eight minutes to play, but Northeastern consistently answered, usually thanks to Strong, Walker, or Roland, whose last two free throws put him into the 1,000-point scoring club. The feat is remarkable considering Roland spent his first two years coming off the bench for George Washington, scoring less than 300 points. He is now 39th on Northeastern’s all-time list.
Roland was as reserved and humble as ever following his big performance. “Obviously it feels good, it’s a milestone, but I feel like it’s not something I’m super concerned with,” he said. “We’re trying to win a CAA Championship this year and that’s the main thing that I’m really focused on.”
Northeastern returns to action at Matthews Arena this Saturday against Davidson, where they’ll try to extend their winning streak to three games. Milton Posner and Mack Krell will be on the call, with coverage beginning at 3:45 PM EST.