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No. 5 Tufts pulls away from men's lacrosse to win 16-11

LEWISTON, Maine -- No. 5 nationally ranked Tufts University increased a 9-8 third-quarter lead to 12-8 in a span of 67 seconds and pulled away from the Bates College men's lacrosse team for a 16-11 NESCAC victory Tuesday night at Garcelon Field.

Kevin McCormick scored four goals for the Jumbos (11-2, 7-1 NESCAC), including one at the 5:36 mark of the third quarter and another at the 4:29 mark, which made it 12-8, sandwiching an unassisted tally by Sam Diss.

Geordie Schafer and Cole Bailey also had four points apiece for Tufts, with Schaefer netting three goals with one assist and Bailey adding two goals and two assists.

Nick Rhoads won 17 of 30 faceoffs for the Jumbos and collected a game-high 11 ground balls. Patton Watkins made 10 saves to preserve the win.

Bates accumulated 21 shots on goal to 20 for Tufts, while the Jumbos outshot the Bobcats 36 to 31. Senior Adam Scharff (Glyndon, Md.) made one save in the first half for Bates, and sophomore Charlie Kazarian (Providence, R.I.) made three saves in the second half.

Junior Dan Hines (Manchester, Mass.) led the Bobcats with three goals and one assist, with first-year Jack Strain (Montclair, N.J.) also tallying three scores. Senior Jason Hichborn (Yarmouth, Maine) scored the first two goals of the game and assisted on another, and senior Thomas Repko (New Canaan, Conn.) dished out two assists. Senior Reed Brown (Portsmouth, N.H.) had a team-high six ground balls and an assist.

Hichborn led off the scoring at the 12:51 mark, scoring off of the rebound of his own shot, and he added a second on a feed from Hines at the 10:10 mark of the first quarter. Chris Schoenhut put the Jumbos on the board on a feed from John Heard, but the Bobcats answered with two more, with sophomore Paul Donovan (Norwell, Mass.) converting an assist by Thomas Repko. Hines picked up a loose ball in the box and got it past Watkins for a 4-1 lead with 6:27 left in the quarter.

Rhoads won the ensuing faceoff, got the ground ball and scored unassisted to make it 4-2 with 6:21 to go. Bates junior defender Charlie Clark (Pepper Pike, Ohio) put Bates back ahead by three after a solo clear with 1:48 left, but Matt Callahan answered 23 seconds later after Tufts won the faceoff with a rocket from nearly 20 yards out.

McCormick, Schaefer and Bailey scored three straight to open the second quarter and give Tufts its first lead, at 6-5, with 9:24 left in the period. Bailey, situated near the left goalpost, faked as if to head behind Bates' goal, but he suddenly swiveled back around and buried the go-ahead goal. Tufts turned it into a 6-1 run with another score by Bailey and an unassisted tally by Beau Wood with 1:26 left for an 8-6 Tufts lead. Bates closed the gap just before the end of the half as junior Kyle Starr (Concord, N.H.) picked up a loose ball in Tufts' defensive third and found Hines on the doorstep for a putaway just before time expired, and Tufts carried an 8-7 lead into intermission.

Schaefer netted the only goal of the first seven-plus minutes of the second half, but Strain scored the game's only man-up goal with 7:06 left in the quarter to make it a one-goal game again at 9-8. But McCormick began Tufts' decisive run with his second goal of the game, converting a feed from Schaefer with 5:36 left.

Bates hosts Connecticut College on Saturday at 1pm in the Bobcats' final home game of the season. (Live Stats)

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