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Men's basketball soars past Husson, 81-52

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates men's basketball team led wire to wire, jumping out to a 17-5 lead and never looking back in an 81-52 non-conference victory over Husson University on Tuesday night in Alumni Gym.

The visiting Eagles (12-6) had their three-game win streak snapped, as well as their modest two-game streak against the Bobcats (8-12).

Bates scored its most points since its season opener against UMaine-Augusta, and shot its fourth-highest field goal percentage (.450) of the season. Husson suffered its second most lopsided loss of the season and was held to its second-lowest scoring output as well.

Junior Luke Matarazzo (Shelton, Conn.) led four Bates players in double figures with 17 points, making 3-of-5 shots from three-point land and adding three assists and two steals. Senior Ed Bogdanovich (Portland, Conn.) contributed a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Mark Brust (Duxbury, Mass.) pitched in with 11 points, a season-high nine rebounds and a game-high four assists, and junior Sean Cunningham (Amherst, Mass.) netted 10 points.

Brooks Spaulding, Jacob Moore and Marc Zaharchuk shared Husson's scoring lead with nine points apiece. Wes Murphy grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.

Cunningham opened up the scoring with a baseline jumper, assisted by Brust, and Brust set up another jumper by Bogdanovich to make it 4-0. A layup by Corey Wood and a 3-pointer by Moore closed it to 7-5 before Bates scored 10 unanswered points to assume a 17-5 lead with 14:32 still to go in the half. Bates received layups by Brust and Bogdanovich, then benefited from a foul and two technical fouls all called in succession against Husson. Matarazzo made three straight free throws as a result, then drilled a 3-pointer from the wing 10 seconds later on a Brust helper.

Bates kept its lead in double digits for the rest of the period, and game. The Bobcats finished out the half with a 12-for-18 performance at the free-throw line, while the Eagles couldn't make it to the line themselves. The Bobcats outrebounded the Eagles 23-17 in the half and were led by Bogdanovich's 10 points, six boards, two steals and one blocked shot in the period. Brust was fouled with 10.8 seconds left in the half and made both foul shots, sending the teams into the locker rooms with Bates ahead 43-27.

Bates sophomore Graham Safford (Hampden, Maine) drove for a layup in the opening seconds of the second half, kick-starting an 11-0 Bates run over the first three minutes of the period that put Husson in a 27-point hole, at 54-27. Matarazzo and Cunningham scored four points apiece in the run, as Bates banished any thoughts of a Husson comeback. The Bobcats' lead remained at 23 or more the rest of the way, allowing Bates head coach Jon Furbush to empty his bench in the final three minutes. Garbage-time highlights for Bates included a three-point play by sophomore Cam Kaubris (Rumford, Maine) and a fast-break layup by senior John Murphy (Yarmouth, Maine), off a rebound and long assist by first-year Mike Newton (Chapel Hill, N.C.).

Bates returns to NESCAC play this weekend, playing at No. 10 nationally ranked Amherst on Friday at 6pm, followed by a Saturday 2pm game at Trinity. Husson returns to NAC play on Friday with a 5:30pm game at Green Mountain College.

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