Header Background

Men's basketball edges Gordon for sixth straight win, 66-61

Pat Halloran '08 scored 12 points, leading the way as all five starters hit double figures.

LEWISTON, Maine -- All five starters scored in double figures as Bates College, won its sixth straight game, outlasting Gordon College 66-61 in a non-league men's basketball game on Tuesday night at Alumni Gymnasium. Both teams are now 14-5 this season.

Bates led for all but two minutes in the game, and built a lead of as high as 14 points in the first half, but the Fighting Scots clawed their way back and made the second half a grind-it-out affair, narrowing the deficit to one points on two occasions -- 52-51 with 6:59 to go and 57-56 with 2:53 to play -- but never getting over the hump.

Aaron Trigg scored a game-high 22 points for Gordon, and Michael Schnackenberg added 14 points with 12 rebounds.

Senior Pat Halloran (Plymouth, N.H.) led the Bobcats with 12 points, shooting 4-for-5 from the floor. Sophomore Chris Wilson (Brewer, Maine), senior Bryan Wholey (Marshfield, Mass.) and first-year Brian Ellis (Braintree, Mass.) added 11 points apiece, while sophomore Jimmy O'Keefe (Lexington, Mass.) added 10 points with 11 rebounds.

Bates enjoyed a 45-31 edge on the glass, with 14 offensive boards.

Neither team shot the ball particularly well. Gordon struggled its way to 30.0% shooting in the first half and finished the game at 37.3%. Bates, meanwhile, hit 43.3% in the first half but dropped to 38.5% in the second period.

The Fighting Scots helped keep themselves in the game by knocking down 5 of 11 three-pointers in the second half, including a a trifecta on three straight possessions by Trigg, two of which were answered by threes from Ellis and Wilson.

Brian Ellis '11 (11 points) was named Maine Rookie of the Week for the second time this season earlier today.

Bates took the lead for good with 12:58 left in the first half, when Wilson penetrated and dished to sophomore Sean Wirth (Barrington, R.I.) for a layup. The hoop began an 11-0 run that gave Bates an 18-7 lead. A pair of layups by Jon Marstaller, the Scots' leading scorer who was held to eight points, helped stem the bleeding, but a three, a two-point jumper and a layup by wilson on consecutive possessions increased the lead to 13 (26-13). A three-pointer by Wholey with 1:25 left in the half gave Bates its largest lead of the game, 33-19. But the Fighting Scots finished the half with seven unanswered points, including a three by Brady Bajema with six seconds left, to close the gap to 33-26 at halftime.

Schnackenberg scored a pair of hoops to start the second half and cut the lead to three. Bates built the lead back to nine on several occasions, but the third Trigg's three straight 3-pointers with 11 minutes left to play started the Scots on an 11-3 run, capped by a three from Bajema that made it 52-51 with 6:59 to play.

Halloran responded with a three to bump the Bates lead to 55-51. The Scots again cut the lead to 1 on a three-point play by Justin Kaufman with 2:53 left. Wholey hit 5 of his next 6 free throws to grow the lead to 64-58 with 22 seconds left, but Trigg hit one more three-pointer with 16 seconds remaining, again closing the gap to three. The Scots then fouled Wholey again, but the senior missed the front end of a one-and-one and Marstaller rebounded, giving Gordon the chance to tie the game on a three. Marstaller's three-point attempt missed before the buzzer. Bates junior Ben Thayer (Gorham, Maine) collected the rebound and was fouled, allowing him to tack two free throws onto the Bates lead with 1.2 seconds showing on the clock.

Earlier in the day on Tuesday, Ellis was named the state Rookie of the Week for the second time this season by the Maine Men's Basketball Coaches and Writers Association. Bates is rated No. 2 in the MMBCWA State Top 5 Poll. Bowdoin is ranked No. 1, Colby and Southern Maine are tied at No. 3, and St. Joseph's is at No. 5. Click here to view a PDF of the MMBCWA weekly Individuals Report.

Bates will play host to NESCAC rival Williams College Friday night at 7 p.m. Gordon will host Husson College tomorrow at 6 p.m.

BOX SCORE: Bates 66, Gordon 61