Hartford, Conn. – Junior guard Jaquann Starks (Hartford, Conn.) notched 12 points, seven rebounds, and three assists to lead the Trinity College Bantams to a 66-59 win over the visiting Bates College Bobcats in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men’s basketball action this evening on Stan Ogrodnik Court in Ray Oosting Gymnasium. Trinity ups its season mark to 13-3 and stays perfect in three league games entering tomorrow afternoon’s contest against Tufts University Jumbos (2-0 in NESCAC play). Bates falls to 11-3 overall and 1-1 in the conference.
With the game tied at 57-57 with just under four minutes left to play, after a 15-footer by Bates sophomore center Malcolm Delpeche (Wilmington, Del.), Trinity scored seven points in a row to pull away. Junior guard Andrew Hurd (Windsor, Conn.) gave the Bantams the lead for good with a drive to make it 59-57, and senior tri-captain center George Papadeas (Athens, Greece) followed with a thunderous dunk off a nice dish from the baseline by Starks with under one minute remaining. Hurd and Starks went 5-for-6 at the foul line down the stretch to ice the game.
Trinity built a 23-15 lead inside the eight-minute mark of the first half after a short Papadeas jumper and led by double digits for the only time in the game at 31-21 thanks to an easy layup by senior tri-captain forward Steve Spirou (Pelham, N.H.) with 17 seconds on the clock made possible by another Starks pass in traffic. A pair of free throws by Bates senior captain guard Graham Safford (Hampden, Maine) made the score, 31-23, at the break. The teams combined to make 10 of 20 three-point attempts in the first half, but Trinity’s defense held the Bobcats to just one two-point field goal in 11 attempts. Safford paced Bates with eight points, while junior guard Rick Naylor (Sudbury, Vt.) and sophomore swingman Chris Turnbull (Ridgewood, N.J.) each scored six for Trinity off the bench in the first stanza.
The Bobcats fought back, tying the game on a three-pointer by Safford at 33-all at the 15:53 mark of the second half, but five consecutive foul shots by Starks and senior forward Alex Conaway (New Haven, Conn.) pushed the home team’s lead back up to 38-33 a minute later. Bates junior forward Mike Boornazian (Portland, Conn.) drilled a trey to tie the game at 44-44 at the midpoint of the second frame, but Trinity answered yet again with two free throws by Papadeas and a three-pointer by Hurd. The Bantams led, 57-51, after a put-back by sophomore forward Ed Ogundeko (Brooklyn, N.Y.) with 5:30 on the clock, before a fast-break layup by Bobcat senior guard Billy Selmon (Atlanta, Ga.) and Delpeche’s jumper tied it for the third and final time.
Trinity outrebounded Bates, 23-14, and the Bobcats launched 19 three-pointers but made just five in the second half. Bates finished with a 33.9 percent field-goal percentage, while Trinity shot slightly better from the floor at 38.5 percent but made 16 of 18 second-half free throws. Papadeas joined Starks with 12 points, while Hurd totaled 10 points and six boards, and Ogundeko grabbed a game high nine boards to go with four points and two blocked shots. Safford led all scorers with 13 points but missed 10 of his 13 attempts from the field while being harassed all game long by Trinity’s Naylor and senior tri-captain guard Hart Gliedman (New York, N.Y.). Naylor made a key block on a corner jumper by Safford with Trinity leading, 59-57, down the stretch. Bobcat senior captain guard Adam Philpott (Gloucester, Mass.) added 11 points and six rebounds off the bench.