Lewiston, Maine - Marshall Hatch's tip-in beat the final buzzer to lift the Bates College Bobcat men's basketball team to a 54-53 victory over the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) rival Trinity College Bantams this afternoon at Alumni Gymnasium. Trinity falls to 7-13 overall and 3-4 in the NESCAC, while Bates improves to 12-10 overall and 3-5 in the league.
Trinity had gone ahead 53-52 on senior co-captain guard
Paul Rowe's (Brooklyn, N.Y.) layup
with eight seconds left. Rowe was fouled on the play, but he
missed the ensuing free throw. Bates junior Chris Wilson rebounded
and was harassed going up the floor until he passed ahead to Ben
Thayer, who let go a three-point attempt from the left wing. The
shot caromed off to the right, where Hatch, a 6-foot-0 junior
guard, reached it and tipped it softly over the rim for the
game-winner and his only two points of the game.
Bates sophomore Nick Schmiemann received his first start and scored a career-high 16 points, while Wilson added 15. Jimmy O'Keefe added a team-high 6 rebounds with 8 points for Bates, including two big buckets in the final 1:19 of the game. senior co-captain forward Aaron Westbrooks (Dublin, Ireland) scored a team-high 11 points with a game-high 7 rebounds for Trinity, while Rowe added 10 points, and sophomore guard Ian Fels (Miami, Fla.) collected five assists.
After Bates' early 4-2 lead, Trinity owned a single-digit lead throughout the remainder of the first half. A pair of free throws by Westbrooks gave the Bantams a 30-23 edge with 1:32 left in the period, but Bates junior Neil Creahan's two from the line and jumper in the lane in the final 75 seconds of the half closed the gap to 30-27 at intermission. Bates started the second half with an 8-2 run, starting with five points to open the stanza by Schmiemann, and capped by a pair of free throws by Scott Place for a 35-32 lead. The teams would tie up the score three times and swap leads six times over the final 14 minutes, with the Bantams mustering the greatest lead the rest of the way, four points, at 49-45 with 4:13 to go, on a layup by Fels. Schmiemann answered with a three-point play out of a Bates timeout, and after Westbrooks made it 51-48 with a individual move and a layup, O'Keefe hit a 14-foot jumper on a feed by Place with 1:19 to go, then put the Bobcats back on top with 27 seconds to go by rebounding a Wilson miss and hitting the putback layup.