Brunswick, Maine - The Bowdoin College men's basketball team survived the visiting Trinity College Bantams in a physical New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) battle this evening at Morrell Gymnasium Friday night, 46-39. Trinity drops to 11-8 overall and 3-3 in the NESCAC with its second loss in a row, while the Polar Bears improve to 17-1 overall and 5-1 in the league.
Trinity was led by junior co-captain center George Papadeas (Athens, Greece), who had nine points and 11 rebounds off the bench. Sophomore guard Jaquann Starks (Hartford, Conn.)also had nine points for the Bantams, while sophomore forward Shay Ajayi (Brooklyn, N.Y.)had seven points and a game-high 12 caroms. John Swords was the high scorer on the night with 11 to go with six rebounds and four blocks. Andrew Madlinger had nine points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Polar Bears while Matt Mathias also pitched in nine points for Bowdoin. Both teams connected on 28 percent of their shots for the game and Trinity held a 49-36 advantage in rebounding. Bowdoin turned the ball over just seven times compared to 14 for Trinity, and the Polar Bears converted those directly into 12 points.
Both teams struggled to find their offensive footing as defense ruled throughout the contest. Bowdoin never trailed, and held a 21-17 edge at halftime. The Polar Bears used a 8-2 run out of the gate in the second half to push the lead to 29-19 with 15 minutes remaining. The Bantams answered with a 10-3 run of their own, as five straight points from Ajayi trimmed the lead to 33-29 with 9:30 left to play. Bowdoin replied with what turned out to be the game's decisive run, scoring seven straight points, to take their biggest lead of the game at 40-29 with under five minutes to play. Trinity cut the advantage to five points on four occasions over the final few minutes, but could get no closer as Bowdoin connected on five consecutive free throws down the stretch to clinch the win.