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Colby surges to get past men's basketball in non-conference game

Brian Ellis '11 was the lone Bobcat to score in double figures, with 19 points.
Alex Gallant '11 grabbed 11 rebounds but was one of several Bobcats who endured some offensive struggles.

LEWISTON, Maine -- Eric Beaulieu and Christian Van Loenen led Colby College's second-half surge as the visiting Mules beat the Bates College men's basketball team 69-62 on Saturday, in the NESCAC rivals' non-conference matchup.

Beaulieu scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds, including 12 points and five rebounds in the second half, while Van Loenen scored 12 points and handed out six assists, including eight points and five assists in the second half, as Colby (7-6) brushed off a four-point halftime deficit and outscored Bates 42-31 in the final 20 minutes of the game. Mike Russell had seven points and 11 rebounds, whiel Kyle Donovan and Uzoma Orchingwa scored 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Senior Brian Ellis (Braintree, Mass.) led Bates (8-5) with 19 points, while senior Alex Gallant (Bangor, Maine) chipped in nine points and 11 rebounds.

Bates' field goal percentage dipped from .462 (12-26) in the first half to .313 (10-32) in the second half, for a season-low .379 percentage in the game. The Mules picked up from a .391 outing in the first half to hit 50% (15-30) in the second half.

Junior Kyle Philbrook (Auburn, Maine) led off the scoring with a three-pointer, and Bates maintained the lead for the rest of the first period, going up by as many as 11 points on an up-and-under driving layup through the lane by Gallant that made it 27-16 with 6:47 left. Colby then scored eight unanswered points, six of them by Donovan, to cut it to 27-24 with 2:17 left. A pair of free throws by Beaulieu cut the lead to two before sophomore Mark Brust's (Duxbury, Mass.) jumper sent the Bobcats into intermission with a 31-27 lead.

The teams continued to play evenly as the second half began, and a jumper by Russell was answered with a three by Bates junior Reid Christian (Pownal, Maine), putting Bates ahead 41-36 with 15:38 left in regulation. But from there, Colby went on a 14-2 run to claim a 50-43 lead with 11:24 left. Bates made 1 of 8 field goal attempts over that stretch, while Beaulieu countered with five points, Van Loenen added four, and Gordon Fischer hit a three on a feed by Van Loenen.

Bates inched closer to cut the lead to 50-47 on a jumper by Ellis, but then Colby embarked on another run, outscoring Bates 11-0 to make it 61-47 with 5:01 to play. Bates missed six shots over the decisive four-minute stretch, while Beaulieu scored four points and Fischer added another three.

Bates made a final bid in the last minute, cutting the lead from 65-54 with 43 seconds left down to five (67-62) with 26 seconds to go, thanks to a pair of threes by Brust and junior Will Furbush (South Portland, Maine), and a layup by Gallant. Van Loenen hit a pair of free throws and Beaulieu blocked a layup attempt by Ellis to help preserve the Mules' win.

Ellis climbed past Zak Ray '07 into 16th place on Bates' all-time scoring list, with 1,179 points. Ray finished his career with 1,175 points.

The teams will meet again for their conference game on Jan. 21 at Colby. Bates will host No. 14 nationally ranked Brandeis University for a non-conference game on Tuesday, Jan. 11, at 6 p.m. The game can be followed via Live Stats and Live Video Webcast.

BOX SCORE: Colby 69, Bates 62