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Mules nip Bobcat men in Waterville, 68-65

Chris Wilson '10 had another solid game, with 16 points, 4-of-6 shooting behind the arc, 4 assists and no turnovers.

WATERVILLE, Maine -- Adam Choice scored 18 points and made a key blocked shot with 21 seconds left to help the Colby College men's basketball team to a 68-65 win over rival Bates College in New England Small College Athletic Conference play Friday night at Wadsworth Gymnasium.

The Mules improve to 12-11 overall and 2-6 in league play, while Bates falls to 16-7 and 4-4 in the conference.

Bates will play at Bowdoin College tomorrow at 3 p.m. in their regular season finale. The Bobcats are assured the No. 5 seed in the NESCAC Championships, which begin next Saturday. Bates will play at the No. 4 seed, which will be either Bowdoin, Middlebury or Trinity, in their first-round game.

Colby is now in sole possession of the eighth and final league playoff spot heading into Saturday's regular season finale against Tufts University at 3 p.m.

Bates led 38-37 at halftime and opened up a 50-40 lead with 15:33 left in the game. The Mules battled back with an 18-8 run to tie it at 58-58 on two free throws by Michael Russell (Wellesley, Mass.) with 5:36 to go. Colby took the lead at 62-61 with 4:03 remaining on two free throws by Choice.

After a Choice jumper with 3:28 left made it 64-61, Bates got baskets from sophomores Sean Wirth (Barrington, R.I.) and Jimmy O'Keefe (Lexington, Mass.) to put the Bobcats up 65-64 with 2:17 to go.

Choice hit one free throw with 1:54 to go to tie the game at 65-65 and Artie Cutrone (Garden City, N.Y.) hit one more free throw with 30 seconds left for a 66-65 Colby lead. Bates senior Bryan Wholey (Marshfield, Mass.) drove hard to the basket, but was rejected on his lay-up attempt with 21 seconds left by Choice. Cutrone hit two free throws with 15 seconds left for the final points and the Mules held off two late 3-point shots by Bates for the win.

Choice shot 7-for-9 from the field, had eight rebounds, and three blocked shots. Russell finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Mark Gaudet (Bingham, Maine) had 14 points for the Mules. Cutrone had eight points, five rebounds, and three assists.

Wholey led all scorers with 19 points, leaping from 14th to ninth on Bates' all-time scoring list, now with 1,225 points. Meanwhile sophomore Chris Wilson (Brewer, Maine) had another solid game, with 16 points, 4-of-6 shooting behind the arc, 4 assists and no turnovers. Wirth added 10 points and a team-high six rebounds.

BOX SCORE: Colby 68, Bates 65