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Balanced offense paces men's hoops win at USM







GORHAM, Maine -- Junior forward Brian Ellis scored 20 points to lead the Bates College men's basketball team to an 82-75 win over the University of Southern Maine Huskies in a non-conference men’s basketball game Tuesday night at Hill Gymnasium.

The win improves the Bobcats overall record to 2-1, while Southern Maine drops to 1-3.

Ellis (Braintree, Mass.) was a solid 8-for-14 from the field to lead four players in double figures for the Bobcats. Ellis added eight rebounds, helping the Bates to a 42-29 advantage on the boards. Senior guard Chris Wilson (Brewer, Maine), sophomore guard Thomas Deegan (Weymouth, Mass.) and senior center Jimmy O’Keefe (Lexington, Mass.) scored 12 points apiece in a balanced attack. First-year guard Mark Brust (Duxbury, Mass.) grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. Sophomore forward John Squires (Swampscott, Mass.) added seven points and seven rebounds.

Southern Maine junior guard Cortez Isaac (Washington, D.C.) continued his stellar play for the Huskies, netting a game-high 27 points while dishing off six assists. Junior guard Luke Pollock (Eliot, Maine) tossed in 14 points, including a pair of threes.

Holding a slim 42-37 lead at the break, Bates outscored USM 7-2 in the opening two minutes and 36 seconds of the second half to knot the score up at 44-44, with the run capped by a Wilson three-pointer. Both teams battled back and forth trading baskets and USM led the Bobcats 55-54 with 12:37 to play on, before Bates went on a 10-0 run to take the lead for good, 65-55, with 8:46 to play. Four different players scored during the run for Bates, including three points from O’Keefe.

Bates maintained between a lead of between 7 and 10 points the rest of the way, before the Huskies fought to cut the lead to four, 79-75, with 27 second to play on an acrobatic play by Isaac. Bates closed out the game with three unanswered points to seal the victory.

Bates hosts Thomas College on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., looking to avenge Friday’s loss to the Terriers in the opening round of the Keene State Tipoff Tournament.

STATS: Bates 82, Southern Maine 75