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Men's basketball comes back to down Endicott, 70-68







LEWISTON, Maine -- Sophomore Brian Ellis (Braintree, Mass.) hit two free throws with 0.6 seconds left on the clock, lifting the Bates College men's basketball team to a come-from-behind 70-68 victory over Endicott College Thursday night at Alumni Gymnasium.

The Bobcats (7-5) trailed for nearly the entire second half, and faced an eight-point deficit with 4:19 to play. But sophomore Alex Gallant's (Bangor, Maine) jumper with with 54 seconds left completed a late Bates comeback and gave Bates a 68-66 lead. Bobby Montrond drained a pair of free throws to retie the game for Endicott with 49 seconds left, and Bates committed a turnover with 22 seconds left to give the Gulls a shot at the game-winning shot at the buzzer. But Montrond's three-point attempt with 3 seconds left took a high bounce, and Aaron Karkow was called for a foul on Ellis as the players vied for the rebound. Ellis hit both foul shots, and Endicott was unable to inbound successfully for a desperation shot with six-tenths of a second left.

Karkow and Chris Galbraith led Endicott (4-6) with 16 points apiece, while Montrond added 11 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds. Ross Stewart chipped in with 12 points.

Gallant led the Bobcats with 18 points, including a 12-13 performance at the foul line. Ellis was the only other Bobcat in double figures, with 11. Senior Scott Place (Bridgewater, Mass.) scored 9 and tied Ellis for the team lead with 6 rebounds.

Bates dominated for most of the first half, building a lead as high as 13 points on three occasions. But Endicott outscored Bates 16-8 over the final five minutes of the period to cut the deficit to 42-37 by halftime, fueled by a pair of threes by Graham Whitelaw, five more points from Karkow, and 3 points and 3 assists by Montrond.

Endicott opened the second half on the same note, quickly taking the lead at 49-45 five minutes into the period with six points by Galbraith and three apiece by Montrond and Karkow. Bates didn't allow the deficit to reach double figures, but the Gulls took a game-high 64-56 lead on a three by Stewart with 4:19 to play. Gallant responded with a pair of free throws, then converted a big steal by junior Jimmy O'Keefe (Lexington, Mass.) into another pair of freebies to cut it to 64-60 with 3:19 left. O'Keefe later had a three-point play off an offensive rebound to make it 66-63 following a Karkow jumper, then a deep three-pointer by junior Marshall Hatch (Chicago, Ill.) tied the game at 66 with 1:53 to go. A subsequent Endicott turnover led to a missed three-point attempt by Bates junior Chris Wilson (Brewer, Maine; 6 points, 4 assists), but Ellis grabbed the carom to reset the Bates offense, resulting in Gallant's go-ahead jumper with 54 seconds remaining.

Bates scored 22 points off of Endicott's 20 turnovers, while Endicott mustered only 6 points off of 10 Bates turnovers. Bates also had a 24-11 edge in second-chance points and a 36-18 edge in bench points.

Bates will next play a non-conference game at rival Colby on Saturday at 3 p.m.; Endicott hosts Eastern Nazarene Saturday at 3 p.m.

STATS: Bates 70, Endicott 68