Lewiston, Maine - The Bates College Bobcat men's basketball team rode sharp shooting and took advantage of a 15-0 run in the second half to defeat the visiting Trinity College Bantams, 70-63, this afternoon at Alumni Gym in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men's basketball action.
With four straight conference wins, Bates (12-10, 4-4 NESCAC)
has surged into fourth place in the NESCAC standings. Trinity
(10-11, 3-4) has lost three of its last four games.
Bates shot over 50 percent from the field in both halves, finishing with a field goal percentage of .532, the Bobcats' fifth straight game over the 50% mark.
Bates junior Alex Gallant led the Bobcats in scoring from off the bench for the second straight day, scoring a game-high 18 points on 9-of-13 shooting less than 24 hours after he netted a career-high 24 points on 7-11 shooting in Bates' big 76-47 win over Amherst on Friday night. Junior Nick Schmiemann added 15 points, all scored in the first half, while Brian Ellis and Marshall Hatch added 12 and 10 points, respectively. Kyle Philbrook dished out a game-high seven assists for Bates, and rookie guard Mark Brust had a strong all-around game with nine points, five rebounds and five assists.
Luke Macdougall led the Bantams with 16 points, followed by 12 for Mick Distasio and 11 for Ian Fels. Salah Abdo and Chris Applegate shared the team lead with seven rebounds apiece.
Trinity jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the opening four minutes with a pair of layups by Macdougall and a three and a layup by Fels. It would be the Bantams' largest advantage in the game. Brust sandwiched a Gallant jumper with a pair of hoops to close it to 9-6, and Bates clawed back in to take their first lead on another of Gallant's myriad midrange jumpers, at 16-15 with 10:17 left in the half. The lead changed three more times, as Schmiemann carried the Bates offense for a stretch, hitting three 3-pointers in a span of five minutes, the second one giving Bates the lead at 31-30 with 3:10 left.
Macdougall responded with a three-point play and Brian Ford followed with a steal and a layup to give Trinity a 35-31 lead with 2:08 left. Philbrook fed Schimemann for his third three with 1:43 left to finish out the scoring with the Bantams ahead 35-34.
The teams continued to trade the lead early in the second half. Trinity hit four shots in a row at one point to counter five points in a row by Hatch. Gallant tied the game for the last time with 9:18 left, hitting a jumper to make it 53-53. Gallant canned another 15-footer for a 55-53 lead, and sophomore John Squires sparked the mini-run into a full-fledged 15-0 run, hitting a pair of foul shots and then double-pumping his way to the hoop for a three-point play with 7:13 left that made it 60-53. Brust hit a three from deep in the right corner with 5:08 to go, and Hatch hit a signature 25-footer from the wing with 3:35 to go to stretch the lead to 66-53.
Trinity made one last run at Bates, scoring eight unanswered points, including five by Macdougall and the fourth 3-pointer of the day by Distasio. Bates answered back with a key layup by Ellis that pushed it back to a comfortable seven (68-61) with 46 seconds to go.