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Men's basketball wins 77-69 at Colby

Brian Ellis scored 14 first-half points to stake Bates to a 37-32 lead at the break.

WATERVILLE, Maine -- Bates College shot 29-for-35 from the foul line and received 21 points from sophomore Brian Ellis (Braintree, Mass.) in taking a 77-69 victory over Colby College in men’s basketball Saturday at Wadsworth Gymnasium.

Bates moves to 8-5 overall, while Colby falls to 8-4. This contest did not count toward the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) standings. The two teams will meet at Bates on January 24 in the league contest.

Ellis had 14 points in the first half and the Bobcats were 9-for-9 from the foul line in taking a 37-32 lead at the break. Colby had a 16-10 lead with about 12 minutes to intermission, but Bates used a 6-0 run to tie the game and eventually moved ahead for good.

The Bobcats opened up a 43-32 advantage just three minutes into the second half. The Mules got as close as 54-51 when Michael Russell scored inside with 9:25 to play. Bates, though, pulled away again and took a 62-52 lead when Ellis nailed a pair of free throws with 4:53 to play.

The Bobcats’ free throw shooting was enough to overcome three 3-point shots by Gil Haylon and one from Justin Sherman in the final 2:15 of play. The Mules got as close as 73-69 with 40 seconds to play, but the Bobcats hit four free throws the rest of the way for the final points.

Junior Chris Wilson (Brewer, Maine) had 13 points, three assists, and three steals for Bates. Junior Sean Wirth (Barrington, R.I.) finished with 10 points and a game-high 9 rebounds, while sophomore Nick Schmiemann (Weymouth, Mass.) added 10 points and first-year Kyle Philbrook (Auburn, Maine) had nine points and three assists.

Russell led all scorers with 22 points and eight rebounds for Colby. Artie Cutrone had 14 points and four assists, while Adam Choice had 14 points. Haylon was 4-for-7 from 3-point range for 12 points.

Bates opens NESCAC play on Friday, Jan. 16, at Middlebury at 7 p.m.

STATS: Bates 77, Colby 69