PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- A career-high 25 points by senior John Squires weren't enough for the Bates men's basketball team to hand Rhode Island College its first home loss of the season, as the host Anchormen prevailed by a 77-61 score in a non-conference matchup on Thursday night.
Squires made 8-of-14 shots from the field and 9-of-12 from the free-throw line while collecting a team-high eight rebounds and three steals for the Bobcats (11-11). Junior Ed Bogdanovich (Portland, Maine) added 13 points and seven rebounds, and junior Mark Brust (Duxbury, Mass.) chipped in with eight points and five assists.
Senior Mike Akinrola tallied 20 points and 11 rebounds for RIC, while junior Tahrike Carter nearly finished with a triple-double, as the co-captain totaled 16 points, nine rebounds and nine assists to go along with two steals and two blocks. Meanwhile, sophomore Michael Palumbo connected on five three-pointers, four of them in the second half, en route to a career-high 15 points.
RIC (17-5) continued to stay undefeated at home (11-0) with the victory.
Both teams traded punches through the first 20 minutes of the game, with the Anchormen taking a 33-27 lead over Bates at the break. RIC stormed out of the gate in the second half to take a 12-point lead, 43-31, with 15:17 on the clock behind four straight points from Mason Choice. However, the Bobcats responded with eight straight points -- four by Squires, plus a pair of buckets by Brust and first-year Billy Selmon (Atlanta, Ga.) -- over the next three minutes to make it 43-39 with 12:57 left to play. Then Palumbo drained back-to-back threes in a span of 20 seconds to put RIC back up by 10, 49-39, with 12:17 remaining.
Bates kept chipping away at the deficit over the next few minutes, getting a 3-pointer from first-year Graham Safford (Hampden, Maine), followed by a three-point play and a layup by Bogdanovich, eventually cutting the margin to just one point on a basket from Squires, making it 52-51, with 8:31 on the clock. Yet that proved to be the last gasp for the Bobcats, who were outscored 17-6 over the final eight and a half minutes. Palumbo proved to be a huge part of RIC's final run, burying two more treys down the stretch to help seal the victory, while Carter finished with seven of RIC's final 17 points.
The Anchormen out-rebounded the visiting Bobcats, 43-33, and finished with 15 offensive rebounds. Rhode Island College shot 40 percent (23-for-57) from the floor, including 43 percent (9-for-21) from beyond the three-point arc, while going 22-for-31 (71 percent) from the free throw line.
Meanwhile, Bates did much of its damage from the free-throw line, where they shot 87 percent (20-for-23). The Bobcats shot just 35 percent (20-for-57) from the field, including a 1-of-10 shooting effort from outside.