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Men's basketball rallies to put away UMF, 85-69

Scott Place '09 scored 20 points, a career high. (Joe Gromelski photo)

FARMINGTON, Maine -- Bates College staged a late rally to pull away from the University of Maine Farmington for an 85-69 victory in non-conference men's basketball action tonight in Dearborn Gymnasium.

The Bobcats improved to 16-6 and are scheduled to visit Colby College on Friday, while the Beavers slipped to 10-12.

Bates senior Bryan Wholey (Marshfield, Mass.) scored 16 points and made five steals in the second half to spur a 21-4 run over the final 10 minutes to take the victory.

Junior Scott Place (Bridgewater, Mass.) scored a career-high 20 points off the bench to lead the Bobcats, with Wholey adding 17, first-year Alex Gallant (Bangor, Maine) a season-high 12 points and first-year Brian Ellis (Braintree, Mass.) 11 points.

Wholey's total was helped by a 10-of-12 effort from the foul line. Overall, the Bobcats were 31 of 36 from the charity stripe, while the Beavers were nine of 15.

Ted Neil (Strong, Maine) led Farmington with 16 points with Isaac Hutchinson (Oakland, Maine) pitching in 13 points and Matt St. John (Wayne, Maine) adding 11 points. The Beavers outrebounded Bates 37-34 with Matt Nichols (Gorham, Maine) pulling down seven boards.

The Beavers bolted out to an 11-3 advantage over the first three minutes of the contest, but Bates inched its way back with a Place trey tying the game at 30-30 with 4:40 until halftime. Moments later, Place hit another trifecta to give the Bobcats their first lead at 40-37, but Neil and St. John each drained a 3-pointer for a 43-42 edge at halftime.

The see-saw affair continued into the second half with five deadlocks and 10 lead changes. Eric Lelansky (Portland, Maine) drilled a 3-pointer to give Farmington a 65-64 lead with 9:55 left in the contest, but it turned out to be the final field goal for the Beavers.

Bates held a 68-66 lead with 7:17 left in the game and pulled away with a 17-3 stretch to close out the contest. Wholey scored seven points and the Bobcats converted 10 of 10 free throws during the run to clinch the victory.

BOX SCORE: Bates 85, UMaine-Farmington 69