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Men's basketball engages in a shootout in season opener

Nick Schmiemann scored a career-high 22 points in the Bobcats' season opener.

KEENE, N.H. -- The Bates College men's basketball team scored its most points in a game in four years, but Thomas College prevailed in a 98-94 shootout in the second game of the Keene State Tipoff Tournament on Friday night, the Bobcats' season opener.

Thomas College had five players score in double figures, led by junior Isaiah Brathwaite (Farmington, Maine), who had 22 points and hit a couple of key free throws in the closing seconds of play to lead the Terriers (2-0).

Junior forward Nick Schmiemann (Weymouth, Mass.) finished with a career-high 22 points for Bates (0-1), leading a strong effort from the Bobcats' front line. Junior forward Brian Ellis (Braintree, Mass.) contributed 16 points and nine rebounds, and senior center Jimmy O'Keefe (Lexiington, Mass.) chipped in 15 points and six boards. Sophomore guard Thomas Deegan (Weymouth, Mass.), who played very sparingly as a rookie, had a breakout game with 17 points and five rebounds.

Bates takes on SUNY Cobleskill in the consolation contest at 5 p.m. Follow Saturday's game via live stats

Bates led by as much as 13 points (41-28) on a three-pointer by sophomore Kyle Philbrook (Auburn, Maine) at the 4:36 mark of the first half.

Thomas cut into the Bobcats lead, getting it down to five points (46-41) on a jumper by junior Andrew Duncanson (Portland, Maine) with 1:52 to go in the half. 

O'Keefe, who had 11 first-half points, hit a free throw to send Bates to the locker room with a 47-41 lead.

Thomas went up by 10 points (67-57) on a conventional three-point play by Duncanson at the 11:50 mark of the second half.

Bates slowly whittled away at the Terriers' lead.  A lay-up by O'Keefe put the Bobcats back up 68-67 with nine minutes to play. 

Thomas spurted ahead again, taking a 81-70 lead on a free throw by freshman Jarrad DeVaughn (Brockton, Mass.) with 6:08 to go.

Duncanson had a lay-up to put Thomas up 90-83 with 1:38 to play. Deegan and senior Marshall Hatch (Chicago, Ill.) connected on three-pointers to gives Bates a chance.  Hatch's three-pointer made it a two-point game (96-94) with 15 seconds to play.   But Brathwaite hit a pair of free throws in the closing seconds to account for the final score.    

Duncanson finished with 19 points, DeVaughn added 17 points, and freshman Francisco Alicea had 12 points for Thomas.

Philbrook dished out a team-high six assists while shooting 2-for-2 from three-point land. Junior Alex Gallant (Bangor, Maine) grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Bates lost despite a 48-35 advantage on the boards.

Bates hadn't scored as many as 94 points in a game since Nov. 28, 2005, a 97-68 win over Thomas.

STATS: Thomas 98, Bates 94