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Huge weekend ahead for hoops, track, swimming, squash

LEWISTON, Maine -- The coming weekend will be arguably the biggest of the winter season for several Bates teams, with some of it taking place on campus.

On Saturday, the Bates men's basketball team hosts Bowdoin in the quarterfinals of the NESCAC Championship for the fourth time in the past seven years. Each time it has been a matchup between the fourth and fifth seeds in the tournament. Only once in those past three meetings has the visiting team won: in 2004, fifth-seed Bates routed the Polar Bears 87-52 in Brunswick. In 2006 in Lewiston, fourth-seeded Bates stormed back from a 34-24 halftime deficit with a 31-5 run in the second half to defeat fifth-seeded Bowdoin 67-51. Two years ago, fourth-seeded Bowdoin drubbed fifth-seeded Bates in Brunswick 83-50. This season, Bowdoin is 2-0 against Bates with a pair of four-point victories, but the Bobcats earned the higher seed by virtue of a better conference record (5-4 vs. 4-5).

Per NESCAC regulations, admission will be charged for this game, with adult general admission tickets priced at $3.00 and student general admission tickets at $1.00.  However, the Department of Athletics will cover the cost of 1 ticket per Bates ID card for each student, faculty or staff member who attends the game. 

To claim your ticket, you must present your Bates ID. Again, there will be a limit of 1 ticket per individual.  Tickets can be picked up or purchased in advance at the Athletic Department office in Alumni Gymnasium on Friday, February 19 between 10 a.m. and 12 noon, and from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.

If you can't make it to Alumni Gym for all the action, you can still follow the game via Live Webcast and Live Stats, both free of charge.

Women's basketball also fights to keep the postseason alive Saturday in the NESCAC Championship quarterfinals -- the No. 6 seed Bobcats play at No. 3 seed Williams at 2 p.m. Tickets for the game in Williamstown cost $5 for adults and $2 for students. Former NESCAC Players of the Week Jessie Igoe, Allie Beaulieu and Lauren Yanofsky lead the Bobcats into Williamstown having won four of their last five games, including Saturday's 71-55 win over No. 14 Tufts. Follow the game live via Live Stats or Live Webcast, both free of charge.

The men's track and field team will host the New England Division III Indoor Men's Track and Field Championships for the ninth time this weekend on the Walter Slovenski Track in Merrill Indoor Gymnasium. The pentathlon takes place Friday at noon, and the rest of the meet begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Bates ranks fourth in New England in both top-three and top-five finishes since the meet began in 1980, and will look to join that select company once again. Admission to the meet will cost $3. Women's track and field will also be competing at New Englands on Friday and Saturday, just down the road at the University of Southern Maine.

The climax of the season arrives for the women's swimming and diving team, as the Bobcats compete in the NESCAC Women's Swimming and Diving Championships from Friday through Sunday at Middlebury. The Bobcats gear up to register their top performances at NESCACs, and last year team records were shattered in every day of the meet. The meet can be followed live online via Real-Time Meet Results and Live Webcast. The men's team has another week off before their NESCAC Championships next weekend at Williams.

Men's squash season also reaches its climax this weekend at the College Squash Association Team Nationals, to be held Friday through Sunday at Yale. The Bobcats are seeded No. 11 and will compete for the Hoehn (B Divison) Cup, given to the top team in the bracket for seeds 9 through 16. The Bobcats will play No. 14 Brown University on Friday at 3 p.m. in the opening round. Women's squash has a weekend off before their CSA Team Nationals next week, also at Yale.

The Bates alpine and Nordic skiing teams travel to the Williams Winter Carnival this weekend, their last carnival before the Eastern Championships next weekend at Middlebury.

Meanwhile, the spring season is under way, too, at least for one team. Bates baseball, fresh off a doubleheader sweep at Division II Claflin University, continues its season-opening trip to South Carolina with a pair of games on Saturday in Myrtle Beach. They play Richard Stockton at 2 p.m. and Shenandoah University at 5 p.m.