UMFK Basketball Heads to Nationals

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The University of Maine Fort Kent Bengals basketball teams will look to bring more national championships to the St John Valley. The Women's basketball team heads into the seven team event as the top seed and they get an opening round bye.

"We are really excited we got the opportunity to go. We are really happy that our administration is letting us take advantage of it," Head Coach Fletcher Brown said. "We are really excited that we are getting the opportunity to play one of two really good teams. They both play really good schedules. Whoever we play it is going to be a tough match-up, but we are going to be ready for it."

The women ended the year at 21-5 and averaged over 72 points a game

"Try to play as up tempo as we can we want to control pace and have it fast. We want to create turnovers and get in transition," Brown said.

The men's team is the fifth seed in the event they ended the year at 10-17 and overcame some adversity with a small second half roster

"We have had a tough season. The five seed is a generous seed for us. I think the schedule is going to help us," Head Coach Tom Bird said. "We had to change the way we played completely in the second semester with just six or seven guys. We will try to slow the pace down and be in our zone and try to keep the score in the low 60's."

The Bengals made it to the final four two straight years. This year will be a challenge to make it to that game, but Bird feels that the teams tough schedule including first semester games against Division 1 schools will be beneficial.

"The schedule was tough with a couple of Division 1 and 2 schools," Bird says. "There is not going to be a team at the national tournament anybody than those ones so we should be ready."

The men will play Oakwood Univeristy of Thursday at 6pm. The women will play in the semifinals on Friday at 2 PM against the winner of the Florida National Bluefield College game.