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Free throws help Gordon sink men's hoops, 64-52

Marshall Hatch '10 tied with Chris Wilson for the team scoring lead with 15 points off the bench.

WENHAM, Mass. -- Tough defense and outstanding foul shooting led Gordon College's men's basketball team to a 64-52 non-conference win over Bates College on Thursday night. The Fighting Scots sank 24 of 26 free throws, and had a 20-shot disparity at the foul line over their opponents, with the Bobcats hitting 4 of 9 from the charity stripe, helping lead to a season low in points scored as a team.

The win moves Gordon to 16-6 overall. Bates falls to 12-11 with the loss. The Bobcats will play host to Tufts at 3 p.m. on Saturday in their regular-season finale.

A very tight first half belied the final score. After yielding 90 points to Colby-Sawyer just two days previous, Gordon came out strong on defense, limiting Bates to just 19 points in the opening half and forcing 9 turnovers. However, Gordon carried just a one-point lead into the break, as they shot only 34% in the game's first 20 minutes. Aaron Trigg used a variety of low post moves to score 6 points while Brady Bajema added 6 as well.

In the second half, the struggle continued as both teams played rugged halfcourt defense and refused to give up an easy bucket. Bates took a 33-31 lead at the 10:35 mark on a 3-pointer by junior Chris Wilson (Brewer, Maine), who tied for the team lead with 15 points. At that point, the Bobcat offense went ice cold, as Gordon ripped off a 20-0 run over the next 7 minutes. The stretch was marked by 2 treys from Aaron Trigg as well as a 3-pointer from Jeff Derr. Once Gordon opened up a double-figure lead, their backcourt was able to get to the foul line repeatedly, and Trigg and Bajema displayed excellent shooting touch. Bajema went 15-16 from the charity stripe, finishing with a game-high 20 points, while Trigg went 5-6 from the line and finished with 17. A late Bates flurry sparked by junior Marshall Hatch (Chicago, Ill.) was not enough to pull the Bobcats back into the game.

Jeff Derr led all rebounders with 8 in just 17 minutes, including 7 in the second half. Even though Bates held a clear 46-32 advantage on the boards, the free throw disparity proved too much to overcome.

STATS: Gordon 64, Bates 52