MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- Andrew Locke scored 25 points on 10-of-11 shooting, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked seven shots to lead nationally ranked Middlebury to a 71-62 win over the Bates men's basketball team on Friday night in the NESCAC conference play opener for both teams. Middlebury is now 13-1, 1-0 in the NESCAC; Bates dips to 6-7 overall, 0-1 NESCAC.
Junior Brian Ellis (Braintree, Mass.) led the Bobcats with a career-high 24 points and eight rebounds, the fifth time this season the junior forward has led the team in both categories. Senior Jimmy O'Keefe (Lexington, Mass.) contributed 12 points and six rebounds, and junior Nick Schmiemann added 10 points for Bates.
Trailing 6-5 early in the game, Middlebury went on a 7-0 spurt for a 12-6 lead with 14:18 remaining in the first half. Locke chipped in a bucket and hit a free throw as Ryan Sharry added four points including a pair of free throws capping the run. The lead grew to 20-13 with 8:38 left before the Bobcats closed the gap to 20-18 on a jumper by O’Keefe at the 7:25 mark. Middlebury went on an 11-4 spurt over the next six minutes when first-year guard Mark Brust (Duxbury, Mass.) capped the first half scoring at 31-24 on a jumper with 59 seconds left.
Bates burst out of the gates to start the second with a 10-2 run, taking its first lead of the second half at 14:52. Junior Nick Schmiemann (Weymouth, Mass.) added a pair of buckets, while three other Bobcats chipped in basket for a 34-33 lead. Middlebury regained the lead on its next possession with a lay-in by Sharry which ignited a 20-9 run over the next six minutes. Locke chipped in seven points during the spurt.
With 54 seconds left, Locke hit one of two free throws for a 68-57 lead. Schmiemann connected on a three for the Bobcats, cutting the Panther advantage to 68-60 with 46 seconds remaining. Bates put Middlebury on the line in the final seconds, but the Panthers went 3/4 down the stretch, to seal the win.
For Middlebury, Tim Edwards filled the stat sheet with eight points, nine assists and seven rebounds, and Jake Wolfin scored 10 points.
Bates plays at Williams tomorrow at 4 p.m. Live webcast (PPV)