The Black Bears' fifth-seeded team was expected to fall to fourth-ranked Northeastern for two reasons. First, the Huskies were coming off one of their school's best seasons at 19-8, and second, NU had toppled Maine twice during the regular season. Add the homecourt advantage and fans knew which team was favored. Only it didn't work out that way. The Bears hung in to lead by four at the half, but leading scorer Rufus Harris was in foul trouble. When NU made a run at the Bears, it was reserve guard Gary Speed's five buckets while spelling the All-ECAC Harris that meant the difference. In Portland, the long-awaited matchup of Harris and the fabled Ronnie Perry didn't materialize as the Crusaders showed their experience and height advantage were too much for Maine's Cinderella squad. Maine's Joe Johnson pulled down a game-high 17 rebounds, while Harris chipped in with ten more.
University of Maine Department of Publicity and Central Services, "Maine Black Bears, 1980-1981" (1980). General University of Maine Publications. 2538.
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