|Thomas Deegan '11 made a big contribution with 10 points and a team-high six rebounds.|
LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates College men's basketball team won its fourth straight game on Tuesday night, defeating in-state rival UMaine-Farmington 76-69 in a non-conference matchup despite Eric Taylor's game-high 25 points.
With senior forward Brian Ellis (Braintree, Mass.) sitting the game out with an injury, Bates had five players score in double figures and led wire-to-wire, although UMF (1-4) stayed in the game with a pair of second-half runs.
Senior Alex Gallant (Bangor, Maine) led the Bobcats with 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field and 6-of-6 shooting from the line. Senior Nick Schmiemann (Weymouth, Mass.) added 13 points, while sophomore Mark Brust (Duxbury, Mass.) and junior Ryan Weston (Bangor, Maine) added 11 apiece. Junior Thomas Deegan (Weymouth, Mass.) chipped in with 10 points and a team-high six rebounds, and junior John Squires (Swampscott, Mass.) added eight points.
Taylor worked the paint and the backboard like a maestro, scoring on a variety of driving layups on 12-of-15 shooting from the field. He also grabbed seven rebounds. Senior Andrew Dean (Gorham, Maine) added 10 points and a game-high four assists, while junior Tim Gingras (Winthrop, Maine) chipped in with nine points and eight rebounds, leading the Beavers to a 34-25 advantage on the boards.
Two straight hoops by Weston started Bates off with a 4-0 lead, and the Bobcats steadily built the advantage into double figures, entering halftime with a 28-17 lead.
Weston started off the second half with another hoop for a 30-17 Bates lead, but UMF responded with a 16-6 run over the next five minutes, including four layups by Taylor, to close the gap to 36-33 with 14:05 left. Three minutes later, junior Dan Kane (Bradford, Maine) hit a three with 12:14 to go to close the gap to 42-38, but Bates outscored UMF 14-5 over a four-minute span to lead 56-43 with 8:03 to go.
Bates still led by 13, at 66-53, with 4:35 left in the game, but UMF clawed its way back into the game again, playing the fouling game to positive effect: Bates players made one out of two free throws on six straight trips to the line in the final 71 seconds of the game, while three layups by Taylor, one by first-year Pet Sumner (Cramerton, N.C.) and one by Dean made it 72-69 Bates with 15 seconds to go, as Sumner made a steal and fed Taylor to cut it to three. Schmiemann missed the second of two straight one-and-ones, but Gallant was able to retrieve the rebound each time. Gallant's two straight free throws with six seconds remaining iced the win at 76-69.
Bates plays host to UMaine-Fort Kent on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., then hosts Husson on Thursday at 7 p.m. UMF plays at the University of Southern Maine on Thursday at 7 p.m.