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Men's basketball clips University of New England, 71-58









LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates College men's basketball team fended off a second-half comeback attempt by the University of New England to register a 71-58 non-conference win over the visiting Nor'easters on Wednesday night.

Senior Brian Ellis (Braintree, Mass.) led the Bobcats (8-4) with 16 points to go with three steals and three assists. Senior Alex Gallant (Bangor, Maine) added 12 points with five rebounds, and junior John Squires (Swampscott, Mass.) contributed 10 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals. Senior Nick Schmiemann (Weymouth, Mass.) grabbed 10 rebounds and junior Kyle Philbrook (Auburn, Maine) dished out a team-high five assists, all in the first half.

UNE rookie Charles Fenner (Bronx, N.Y.) scored a game-high 22 points for the Nor'easters (2-10), while senior Chas Rentrope (Peoria, Ariz.) added 12 points, five rebounds, five steals and two blocks. Junior Jordan Stinglen (South Berwick, Maine) chipped in with a double-double, 10 points and 10 rebounds.

UNE got back into the game via the three-point shot but hit only 6 of 23 attempts. Bates outrebounded UNE by a 41-34 margin, and outscored the Nor'easters 46-22 in the paint.

Bates started out sluggishly, and UNE took a 10-6 lead after the first six minutes of the game. But juniors Ryan Weston (Bangor, Maine), Reid Christian (Pownal, Maine) and Philbrook all figured greatly in a 15-3 run that turned the score into a 21-13 Bates lead with 10:18 to go. Christian hit a pair of threes, both assisted by Philbrook, while Weston contributed five points and a blocked shot in the spurt. A layup by Philbrook got the lead to 11, and Squires figured in three straight hoops, assisting Gallant and first-year Luke Matarazzo (Shelton, Conn.), then making a putback, to buffer the Bates lead to 13 even as UNE stayed in it at the offensive end with baskets on three of four trips, one each by Stinglen, junior Ryan Knotek (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) and Fenner. A steal and a layup by Bates junior Thomas Deegan (Weymouth, Mass.) peaked Bates' first-half lead at 15 points (37-22) with 4:33 left, and the Bobcats held a 38-28 lead at intermission.

Bates maintained a comfortable 15-point lead as late as 12:06 remaining in the second half, when the Nor'easters countered a Bates dry spell -- no field goals for the Bobcats between the 14:56 mark and the 8:34 mark of the period -- with a three by junior Marcus Winn (Austin, Texas), a jumper and a three by Rentrope, and a pair of foul shots by Fenner, and suddenly UNE had cut the lead to 50-45 with 8:48 to play. A three-point play by Gallant, followed by a Schmiemann layup, bumped the lead back to 10, but Fenner and Winn hit back-to-back threes, at the 6:49 and 6:23 marks, respectively, to make it a four-point game (55-51). Ellis drove for a layup on a nifty feed by Schmiemann, and Squires and Matarazzo both hit pairs of free throws as Bates came up with two defensive stops, putting the lead back in double digits at 61-51 with 5:22 left, and Bates never lost control from there.

Bates will play host to Colby on Saturday at 4 p.m. in a non-conference game between the NESCAC rivals. The game can be followed via Live Stats and Live Video Webcast.

Ellis's 16 points vaulted him past two former Bobcats, Mike Marsh '97 (1,148) and Erik Bertelsen '72 (1,153) and into 17th place on Bates' all-time scoring list, with 1,160 points.

BOX SCORE: Bates 71, UNE 58