SMCC men’s basketball team wins USCAA Division II national championship

The Southern Maine Community College men’s basketball team capped its season Thursday night by winning the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Division II national championship title with a 79-75 victory over Johnson & Wales University Charlotte.

The SeaWolves claimed the title after winning three games in the USCAA national tournament in Richmond, Va. The victory gave SMCC its first team national championship in the college’s 76-year history.

In the championship game, SMCC jumped out to an early 7-0 lead over the Wildcats and never trailed, leading 36-28 at halftime. Johnson & Wales used a run late and pulled within two with four seconds remaining, but the SeaWolves held on for the four-point victory.

Zachary Mickle led the team with 20 points, Ian Regan had 15 and Anderson Kavutse had 12. Regan and Kavutse each had 10 rebounds.

“I give all the credit to our players, who have been unselfish and bought into our team concept all year,” said Matt Richards, the men’s basketball coach and SMCC Athletic Director. “This is a great honor for Southern Maine Community College to bring home a championship to the state of Maine.”

SMCC President Joe Cassidy said the basketball program should be proud of its accomplishments this season, especially given the uncertain times with the pandemic. Both the men’s and women’s teams played in the national tournament, with five players on the teams being named USCAA Academic All-Americans.

“This is a historic moment in SMCC’s history,” Cassidy said. “We are so proud of all of our student-athletes and their success on the court and in the classroom.”

The SMCC men’s team finished the season with a 20-5 record, including 13-1 in conference play in the Yankee Small College Conference, earning it a No. 5 seed in the USCAA national tournament.

The SMCC’s women’s team, which finished the season with a record of 21-5 and 12-2 in conference games, lost in the first round of the national tournament, but won its next game in the consolation round.

“Our women’s team had such an outstanding season as well, and their support was a catalyst that helped the men’s team be victorious,” Richards said.