|Playing in his first game since Dec. 4, Brian Ellis '11 tied for the game scoring lead with 25 points. (File Photo)|
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- What first appeared to be an easy win for then 10-1 Rutgers-Newark turned into a nailbiter by the last minute of play. But the Bates men's basketball team ultimately fell 76-68 to the Scarlet Raiders on the opening night of the Naismith Classic at Springfield College.
Senior Brian Ellis (Braintree, Mass.) scored 25 points and senior Nick Schmiemann (Weymouth, Mass.) added 13 for the Bobcats (7-3), while junior Ryan Weston (Bangor, Maine) grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
Bates will meet Roger Williams University Sunday at 1 p.m. in the tournament consolation game. The game can be followed via Live Stats at this link.
The Scarlet Raiders (11-1) were led by four players who scored in double figures: junior guard Pedro Burgos (Fort Lee, N.J.) with 25 points, junior guard Jeremiah Rivers (Newark, N.J.) with 17, junior guard Greg Moore (Jersey City, N.J.) with 16, and sophomore guard Al'Don Muhammad (Irvington, N.J.) with 14. Burgos was 8-of-12 from the field, 3-of-6 from 3-point range, and 6-of-8 from the charity stripe.
Rutgers-Newark led by 19 (66-47) with 5:53 left in the contest, but Bates made a late charge, beginning with a three-pointer by first-year Luke Matarazzo (Shelton, Conn.). The Bobcats cut it to as close as 71-66 with 46 seconds left, on a layup by junior John Squires (Swampscott, Mass.) -- a 19-5 run including eight points by Ellis and four more by Schmiemann. Sophomore Mark Brust (Duxbury, Mass.) missed a three with a chance to close it to two, and Muhammad hit a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 73-66 with 29 seconds left.
In Bates' first game since Dec. 9, the Bobcats shot a respectable .459 (28-61) from the field but struggled from beyond the arc, hitting 3 of 16 (.188).