BANGOR — When point guard Ryan Bernstein sat up on the wooden floor of the Cross Insurance Center court, the blood trickled down his forehead.

Another Black Bear down.

The University of Maine men’s basketball team has dealt with injuries and inefficiency this season.

But the Black Bears still battled for a rare victory Monday night, a 52-41 win over the University of Hartford before an estimated crowd of 250.

Andrew Fleming, the 6-foot-7 freshman from Oxford Hills High, led Maine with 11 points and eight rebounds.

The Black Bears stopped a seven-game losing streak, improving to 6-20, 2-9 in America East. Hartford is 6-19 and alone in last place with a 1-9 conference record.

Maine’s best scorer, junior guard Wes Myers, scored only five – 12 points below his average. But it was a case of the star not shining, so everyone else helped out.

“We knew Wes was struggling so we first had to start on the defensive end and get stops,” said Bernstein, who collided with a Hartford player’s knee while going for a loose ball in the first half.

Bernstein returned in the second half with a bandage covering seven stitches above his right eye. Bernstein, a 6-foot sophomore from the Bronx, became the starting point guard when Aaron Calixte broke his foot. Besides Calixte, a junior, Maine has lost three others to injury – junior guard Ilker Er (knee), senior guard Troy Reid-Knight (ankle) and senior forward Garet Beal (foot).

Plus, Fleming missed six games with a sprained ankle and a case of strep throat.

“It’s been stressful and a tough month,” Fleming said. “I felt good tonight.”

Fleming hit 5-of-10 field goals, mostly inside jump shots, and one free throw to lead all scorers. Most everyone else struggled.

The Hawks shot only 21 percent – including 4 of 30 in the second half – and still trailed Maine by only six points with 4:40 left. “Obviously, it wasn’t a very pretty game,” Maine Coach Bob Walsh said. “We didn’t have our best stuff and neither did they. But we found a way to continue to get stops.

“When you hold a team to four baskets in the second half, you should win the game – and it should be a little bit easier than that.”

Hartford led 21-20 in the first half and, the thing is, neither team was really playing solid defense. Just a lot of missed shots.

Hartford continued to miss in the second half. The Hawks like to hit the 3-pointers, but they were 4 for 28 on Monday.

“We just could not make a shot,” Hartford Coach John Gallagher said. “Traditionally, we’re in the mid to high 30s (percent) with the three.

“I thought we got open (looks). Of the 28 (attempted 3-pointers), 22 were really good shots.”

The Black Bears have five remaining games, but only one more in Bangor, on Feb. 19 at 2 p.m., vs. Albany.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

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Twitter: @KevinThomasPPH