BANGOR, Maine -- In spite of senior John Squires' immense effort, the Bates men's basketball team's winning streak ended at four games on Wednesday night, with a 78-75 non-conference loss at Husson University.
Bates, which rose to No. 1 for the first time this season in this week's Maine Men's Basketball Coaches and Writers Association Top 5 Poll, dipped to 10-7 overall, while the host and unranked Eagles rose to 7-10 on the year with their fifth win in the past six games. Marc Zaharchuk had 20 points and 10 rebounds to pace Husson, while Daeshawn McMorrin, Luis Media and Demetrius Cook scored 11 points apiece.
Squires grabbed 19 rebounds, one away from the career high he set earlier this season, and scored a career-best 22 points, making 8-of-13 shots from the field. Squires also led the Bobcats with four assists.
Junior Ed Bogdanovich (Portland, Maine) added 12 points and seven rebounds for Bates, and sophomore Luke Matarazzo (Shelton, Conn.) netted 11 points, his fourth straight game in double digits.
Husson led for virtually the entire contest, with Bates managing a 2-2 tie on senior captain Ryan Weston's (Bangor, Maine) layup with 17:02 left in the first half. Brad Libby and Media then nailed consecutive 3-pointers for an 8-2 lead, then expanded the advantage to 18-7.
Bates answered with seven straight points on a three-point play by Bogdanovich and back-to-back hoops by Squires, and with 9:04 left in the period, senior Will Furbush (South Portland, Maine) hit a three to cut the lead to 22-18.
Zaharchuk scored six points and grabbed three rebounds in a three-minute span to spark a mini-run that raised Husson's lead back into double digits with under five minutes remaining in the half, and the teams left the floor at halftime with Husson leading 41-32. Squires had eight points and 10 rebounds in the opening stanza, while Zaharchuk countered with 12 points, thanks to an 8-for-8 performance at the free-throw line.
Husson outscored Bates by an 18-5 margin in points off turnovers, and also turned around a 12-10 disadvantage in points in the paint in the first half for a 22-6 edge in the second half.
Media made another three to open the second half for a 44-32 lead, but Bates countered with a Bogdanovich jumper and a three by senior Reid Christian (Pownal, Maine) to cut the deficit to seven with 18:29 left. But Husson regained its momentum with a three-point play by Media, followed by a Jon Klages layup, to bump the lead to 49-37, and the Eagles' edge vacillated between six and 12 points until the final minute of regulation.
With 52 seconds left in the game, McMorrin made a pair of free throws for a 77-69 Husson lead. Bates made a final push as Matarazzo and junior Mark Brust (Duxbury, Mass.) made consecutive 3-pointers at the :37 and :22 marks, to make it a two-point game at 77-75. Ricky Landais made one of two free throws with 17 seconds left, and Bates missed three attempts at the would-be game-tying three-pointer in the final 10 seconds as Husson held on for the win.