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Men's basketball to face Ephs in NESCAC quarterfinal

HADLEY, Mass. -- With the completion of the league schedule on Tuesday night, the Bates men's basketball team learned their opponent will be Williams in the first round of the NESCAC Men's Basketball Championship.

The Bobcats (10-14 overall, 4-6 NESCAC) tied with Wesleyan for sixth place in the final conference standings. Wesleyan took the sixth seed by virtue of its win at Bates on Jan. 19. Thus seventh seed Bates plays at second seed Williams (21-3, 9-1) on Saturday at 2pm (Live Stats).

Without snagging one of the top five seeds, the Bobcats were resigned to playing at Amherst, Williams or Middlebury, all of whom are ranked among the top 10 teams in Division III. Top-seeded Amherst is currently ranked No. 2 in the country, Middlebury is No. 3 and Williams is No. 10.

Bates played tough in an 80-69 loss to the Ephs in Lewiston on Jan. 5, a day after a 59-56 setback to Middlebury. The Bobcats outrebounded the Ephs 38-33, committed only 10 turnovers to Williams’ 13 and shot well from beyond the arc at 39.1% overall (9/23), including 46.2% in the second half (6/13).

First-year forward Mike Boornazian (Portland, Conn.) led Bates with 18 points and 12 rebounds in the game. Sophomore Graham Safford (Hampden, Maine) added 17 points and a career-high seven assists, while junior Luke Matarazzo (Shelton, Conn.) and senior Ed Bogdanovich (Portland, Maine) added 13 and 12 points apiece.