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Men's basketball defeats Wesleyan in Reilly's return to Alumni

Brian Ellis '11 had 19 points, five rebounds and three assists in Bates' conference win over Wesleyan. (File photo)

LEWISTON, Maine -- Bates seniors Brian Ellis, Alex Gallant and Nick Schmiemann combined for 43 points to lead the Bobcat men's basketball team past their former head coach, Joe Reilly, and Wesleyan University in a NESCAC game 70-59 on Friday night at Alumni Gym.

Ellis (Braintree, Mass.) scored 19 for the Bobcats (11-9, 2-3 NESCAC), while Gallant (Bangor, Maine) and Schmiemann (Weymouth, Mass.) added 12 apiece, as did junior John Squires (Swampscott, Mass.). Squires also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.

Shasha Brown scored a game-high 23 points for the Cardinals (9-10, 2-3 NESCAC). Mike Callaghan grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and blocked a game-high four shots before fouling out of the game.

Reilly returned to Alumni Gym for the first time since his 11-year stint as head coach at Bates, and was received with a warm, extended applause from the near-capacity crowd. From the 1997-98 season through 2007-08, posting winning records over the last eight years of his tenure. After departing Bates to coach the Cardinals in his home state of Connecticut, Jon Furbush '05 was appointed Bates' new head coach. Furbush played for Reilly and was an assistant under Reilly for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.

Wesleyan built a seven-point lead, at 22-15, with 5:10 to go in the first half as Bates went scoreless over a five-minute span late in the period. But the Bobcats put out a 9-0 spurt to close out the half, with seven points scored by Ellis, including a three-pointer and a buzzer-beating layup that gave Bates a 24-22 lead at the break.

Bates kept its momentum going in the early part of the second half, hitting its first five shots in the period, including a dunk by Gallant that made it 35-26 with 17:17 left, prompting a timeout by Reilly. Wesleyan managed to cut it back to a seven-point margin, but the Bobcats went on a 9-2 run midway through the half to build a 14-point advantage at 48-34. Bates maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

The Cardinals play at Tufts on Saturday, while Bates plays host to Connecticut College Saturday at 2 p.m. in its final home game of the regular season.

All of Bates' games can be followed via Live Stats and Live Video Webcast.

BOX SCORE: Bates 70, Wesleyan 59