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Ellis scores 33, but Huskies hand men's basketball its first loss

Brian Ellis '11 had the highest single-game point total since C.J. Neely '03 in 2003.

LEWISTON, Maine -- The University of Southern Maine had four players score in double figures, led by Corteze Isaac's 19 points, to offset a career-high 33 points by Bates' Brian Ellis for a 76-72 non-conference victory at Alumni Gymnasium on Tuesday night.

Isaac added five rebounds, four assists and four steals to lead the Huskies (4-0). Sean Bergeron added 16 points, five rebounds and four steals. Otis Smith totaled 13 points and five rebounds, and Chris Pagentine came up with 12 points and five rebounds. Bates committed 23 turnovers to USM's 10, and the Huskies held the Bobcats (2-1) under 50 percent shooting from the field for the first time this season.

Ellis (Braintree, Mass.) hit 12 of 16 shots from the floor, including 2-for-3 behind the arc, and went 7-7 at the free-throw line. The senior, who scored his 1,000th career point in the Bobcats' season opener on Friday, exceeded his previous career high of 24 points. It is the most points scored by a Bobcat since C.J. Neely '03 netted 43 against Colby-Sawyer on Jan. 14, 2003, and the first 30-point game since Zak Ray '07 scored 30 against Amherst on Feb. 25, 2006. Coincidentally, Ellis passed Neely and Darrell Akins '92 on Bates' all-time scoring list during the game, and now is 27th on the list with 1,053.

Senior Nick Schmiemann (Weymouth, Mass.) added 14 points and senior Alex Gallant (Bangor, Maine) had a game- and career-high 11 rebounds for Bates.

USM led 37-33 after a back-and-forth first half that saw six ties and six lead changes. Isaac scored 12 points in the period on an array of aerial drives and off-balance jump shots. Ellis countered with 11 points for Bates, but 15 turnovers in the period led to a 12-4 edge in points off turnovers for USM.

The Huskies expanded the lead to 10 (50-40) on a steal and a layup by sophomore Alex Kee (Bath, Maine) with 14:20 left. Bates surged to tie the game at 58-58, with 6:10 remaining -- Ellis scored 12 points in the 18-8 run, starting with a three-point play and continuing with three spinning, driving layups and a three-pointer.

USM responded with a layup by Smith and a three by Isaac to bump it to 64-58. Bates sophomore Mark Brust (Duxbury, Mass.) hit a jumper, then stole the ball from Smith and fed Schmiemann for a three-pointer that cut it to 64-63 with 2:49 left. Pagentine started a 7-0 run that put the game nearly out of reach at 71-63 with 1:08 left to play.

Bates next plays at Thomas College on Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m.

BOX SCORE: Southern Maine 76, Bates 72