LEWISTON, Maine -- Bates junior Luke Matarazzo scored 20 of his 27 points in the second half to vault the Bobcats to a 67-57 win over Colby in the teams' annual non-conference matchup on Saturday. Colby led by as many as 16 points in the first half, but a barrage of 3-pointers in the second half erased the Mules' advantage in the first 10 minutes of the second half, and the Bobcats continued to fire on all cylinders to complete a dramatic turnaround.
Bates sophomore Graham Safford (Hampden, Maine) and senior Mark Brust (Duxbury, Mass.) also scored 10 points apiece in the second half, combining with Matarazzo to score 40 of Bates' 46 points in the period, as the Bobcats outscored the Mules 46-21. The Bobcats outrebounded Colby 26-11 in the second half, after the teams were even 21-21 in the first half, and Bates made 18-of-20 foul shots in the second 20 minutes, finishing 19-21 at the line overall (Colby was 13-21).
Safford finished with 14 points and seven rebounds, and after a quiet first half, Brust finished the game with 10 points and six boards. Senior Ed Bogdanovich (Portland, Maine) and sophomore Billy Selmon (Atlanta, Ga.) grabbed eight and seven rebounds, respectively, helping Bates (4-5) to a 47-32 edge on the glass.
Chris Hudnut led Colby (2-6) with 13 points and four blocked shots in the Mules' fourth straight loss. Eight of his points and three of his blocks took place in the opening seven minutes of the game. Connor O'Neil added 12 points. Sam Willson added nine points, while Shane Rogers tallied eight points with four assists. Danny Chase grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
After Safford fed Bogdanovich for a layup with 15:09 to go in the first period, Colby embarked on a 14-2 run over seven minutes, kicked off by a layup and a three by Willson. Ryan Jann and Chase also hit from beyond the arc as Bates missed nine consecutive shots. Chase followed his three with a jumper for a 25-10 Colby lead with 8:14 to play in the period before Bates began turning things around.
Matarazzo (Shelton, Conn.) stemmed the bleeding with a three-point play, followed by a reverse layup assisted by first-year Mike Boornazian (Portland, Conn.) to close the gap to 25-15. O'Neil answered with a jumper on an assist by Patrick Stewart, and Colby responded to a Safford layup with a three by O'Neil and a pair of free throws by Willson to expand Colby's lead to 33-17 with 2:59 left in the half. Rogers made 3-of-4 free throws in the final minute to keep the Mules sitting pretty with a 36-21 halftime advantage.
Brust's spectacular driving layup opened the second half on the right foot for Bates, but Stewart drained a three to return the lead to 16, with 18:38 left in the game.
Bates' big second-half run began with a deep three by Safford, followed by a Brust three from the top of the circle that cut it to 39-29. Brust then converted a three-point play to draw Bates within seven, at 39-32. Safford then rebounded a miss by O'Neil and fed Matarazzo for another Bates three, closing the gap to 39-35.
O'Neil interrupted Bates' explosion with a pair of threes, sandwiching a free throw by Bogdanovich, to bump Colby's lead to 45-36.
Matarazzo, however, proceeded to outscore the Mules 11-1 over the next three minutes, hitting a layup, followed by a three-point play and finally, back-to-back threes, both released from well beyond the arc following half-pauses to size up the shot. With 9:57 left, Bates suddenly led 47-46 and Colby called timeout.
A blocked shot by Bogdanovich out of the timeout led to a layup by Brust, and Safford drew two fouls in a row, prompting another Colby timeout before Safford's fourth straight foul shot made it 53-46.
Hudnut made a baseline jumper for Colby, but Selmon's three kept Bates and its home crowd electric. Chase made a steal but missed his jumper at the other end. Senior Taylor Gartley (Rockport, Maine) grabbed the rebound and was fouled for two more foul shots that made it 58-49 with 4:46 to go. Another two free throws by Matarazzo, after a missed there by Stewart, made the lead climb into double-digits at 60-49 with 4:14 to play. Matarazzo and Safford combined to make 7-of-8 free throws in the last 1:02 to salt away the win.
Bates travels to Daytona Beach, Fla., to take on Washington & Lee on Dec. 19 at 4pm, followed by a game against Concordia (Wis.) on Dec. 20 at 4pm. Colby plays at Springfield on Jan. 1 at 5:30pm. Both games can be followed online via Live Stats.