Lewiston, Maine - John Squires' tip-in at the buzzer gave the Bates College Bobcat men's basketball team a dramatic 60-59 victory over the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) rival Trinity College Bantams this afternoon at Alumni Gym. The Bobcats, who improve to 11-9 overall and 5-4 in the NESCAC trailed by 17 points with 12:13 left in regulation, but doubled their point total in the remaining 12 minutes of the game while outscoring Trinity, 30-12, over that time span. Trinity drops to 10-11 overall and 2-6 in the NESCAC with its sixth straight loss and its second buzzer-beater defeat in as many days.
Held scoreless over the final five minutes, Trinity clung to a 59-58 lead after a Squires layup with 1:59 left in the game. The score stayed there until the final possession. After a Trinity turnover with 11 seconds left, Bates' Mark Brust took an off-balance, 15-foot jump shot from the left wing that shot sailed over the rim and caromed off the glass, where the 6-foot-8 Squires outleapt all others on the weak side and tipped the ball in just before the final buzzer for the shocking win.
The play represented the only offensive rebound of the game for Squires, who recorded his seventh double-double in the past eight games, with 16 points and 13 boards. Graham Safford added 14 points off the bench, and Mark Brust chipped in with 13 points. Ed Bogdanovich had nine points and nine rebounds for the Bobcats, who outrebounded the Bantams 36-31. Bates bounced back from poor shooting in the first half (6-23, .261) by making 13 of 22 shots in the second period (.591). Trinity's three top scorers all came off the bench, as sophomore Eric Dean (Gilford, N.H.) led the way with 12 points, followed by junior Mick DiStasio (Cheverus, Maine) with 11 and senior captain center Chris Applegate (High Point, N.C.) with 10 to go with his team-high seven rebounds and two blocked shots.
Trinity led, 25-23, at the half, but surged to start the second period, outscoring Bates 22-7 in the opening eight minutes. Rookie guard Carter Trent (Little Rock, Ark.) and Dean both hit 3-pointers to get things going, followed by back-to-back layups by Applegate for a 37-27 lead with 14:32 left to play. DiStasio and sophomore guard Leonard Chenfeld (New York, N.Y.)sandwiched a driving layup by Safford by assisting each other's trifectas, and a steal by DiStasio led to a layup by freshman forward Mickel Simpson (Woburn, Mass.) for a 47-30 Bantam lead.
Safford nailed a three from the deep corner out of a timeout, then drew a foul and hit two free throws on the next possession to start a 14-2 Bates outburst over a four-minute span. Trinity regained its offense, getting a layup from Chenfeld, consecutive threes by Dean and DiStasio and two foul shots by Simpson, to bump the advantage to nine at 59-50 with 5:14 left in the game. Over the last five minutes, Trinity missed all five of its field goal attempts and committed two turnovers. Squires made three layups in the final three minutes for Bates.