The Bowdoin game started on a strange note, as the start of the game was delayed about ten minutes due to a fire alarm. The alarm would go off two more times during the game, delaing it another five minutes. The first half was a back-and-forth affair, with neither team able to establish more than a four point lead. The Bobcats went into the break with a 30-29 lead, despite shooting just 33 percent from the floor. In the second half, Bates was able to grab a five-point lead with ten minutes remaining. They were able to maintain that lead for the next eight minutes when Bowdoin started a rally, to cut the lead to 65-62 with about a minute to go. Over the last minute of regulation, the Bobcats uncharacteristically missed three consecutive front ends of one-and-one foul shots, one of which was the only miss of the night by junior center Sarah Bonkovsky. While Bowdoin missed their shots the first two times, they were able to drain a 3-pointer from 30 feet away with eight seconds left to send the game into the first overtime. The Polar Bears scored six of the first eight points of the first extra session on a pair of 3-pointers, but the Bobcats did not go away, hitting their free throws to stay close and then getting a heart- stopper of their own with five seconds left, as first-year forward A.T. Taylor canned a trifecta of her own to tie the game at 75-75 and send it in into another overtime. It was there that Bowdoin's depth prevailed, as Bonkovsky and first-year guard Colleen McCrave both fouled out, while Bowdoin scored the first six points of the extra frame to make the final 86-80. Bonkovsky finished with 32 points and 16 rebounds, while Taylor finished with 25 points and 12 boards. McCrave added 13 points, 10 rebounds seven assists and four steals.
On Feb. 9 Bates journeyed to Northfield, Vt. to take on the Cadets of Norwich University, and bounced back with ease from the previous game's tough outcome and a long bus trip to gain the easy 78-52 win. After falling behind 12-5 in the first 4:50, coach Jim Murphy called time-out to regroup. The Bobcats responded, outscoring Norwich 16-2 over the next five minues to turn the 12-5 deficit into a 21-14 lead. in fact, after the timeout, Bates outscore Norwich 35-10 for the rest of the half. They cruised in the second half, taking the game 78-52. Taylor led all scoreers with 24 points and also grabbed 11 boards, while Bonkovsky had 18 points and 12 rebounds. Senior captain Dianna Devlin had 13 points and handed out 9 assists.
The big win at Norwich set the Bobcats up to try to stop Middlebury's 19- game home court winning streak. The Panthers jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead, but the Bobcats did not go away, scoring 10 of the next 12 points to go up 12-9 at the midway point of the first half. Middlebury, one of the top long distance teams in New England, then went on an 11-4 run, capped by a pair of 3-pointers to take a 20-16 lead with three minutes left. Bates defense turned it up a bit, scoring the last six points of the first half to take a 22-20 lead into the locker room. McCrave then scored the first five points of the second half on a three-pointer and a steal and lay-up to give the Bobcats their biggest lead of the game at 27-20. The Panthers called time-out and immediately composed themselves and scored the next seven points to tie the game. The teams traded baskets, but with the game tied at 31, Middlebury hit a 3-pointer that started a 17-6 spurt over the next seven minutes to put the Panthers seemingly in control, 48-37. The Bobcats did not roll over, however, scoring 11 of the next 13 points, including a pair of steals and lay-ups by McCrave and a 3-pointer by Devlin to slice the deficit to just 50-48 with 25 seconds remaining. Bates had managed to stay out of foul trouble for much of the half, and it may have cost them, as Middlebury was able to run 13 seconds off the clock before the Bobcats were able to put them on the line. Middlebury hit their free- throws with 12 seconds left to go up 52-48 before Devlin ran down the court and stroked her second trifecta of the half to cut the lead to 52-51. The Bobcats were then hurt by the fact that they did not have any time-outs remaining to set their defense, as Middlebury was able to throw a pass the length of the court and lay it before Bates could foul, producing the final 54-51 margin. McCrave led the way in this game, scoring 15 points and making six steals, while Bonkovsky added another double-double, with 12 points and 11 boards. Taylor added a dozen points of her own.
For her performances against Bowdoin, Norwich and Middlebury, Taylor was named NESCAC Player of the Week for the second time this season, and NEWBA Rookie of the Week for the third consecutive week and fourth time overall.
On Feb. 6, Bowdoin, enjoying one of its best seasons in recent memory and ranked fourth in New England, was out for revenge for one of its four losses on the season, an 86-66 thrashing at Alumni Gym back in November. Bates gave them all they could handle. Despite falling behind 13-5 early, the Bobcats were able to put on a run after their first time-out that saw them climb back and take a 20-17 lead about midway though the first half. They were able to maintain that lead until just under a minute left in the opening session, when Bowdoin scored the final five points, inculding a shot at the buzzer to turn a 29-28 Bates lead into a 33-29 Bowdoin halftime advantage. The Bobcats came out smoking though, scoring fourteen of the first sixteen points in the second half to go up 43-37. They were able to maintain that lead for much of the second half, leading 64-57 with three minutes remaining. Unfortunately, Bates picked a bad time to go cold, as Bowdoin was able to rally back over the final three minutes on the strength of two 3-pointers and free throws, tying the game, 69-69. The Polar Bears also had the last possesion, but a game-winning 16-footer went in, but a split second too late, as the two schools went into the third overtime period of the night. As in the women's game, Bowdoin was too strong down the stretch, scoring the first eight points of overtime and taking the 82-75 win. Leaders for the Bobcats were junior guard Matt Garvey, who had 21 points and senior guard Adam Piandes added 15 points and 6 assists.
The men were involved in another back and forth game Feb. 9 at Norwich. The game was clash of 3-point shooters, which boiled down to the Bobcats' having the better inside game to complement Garvey's deep threat. Neither team was able to take control in the first half. The biggest lead was 21-15, Bates, and that was quickly erased as Norwich went on a 10-1 run to take a 25-22 advantage.The two teams traded three point leads, but went to halftime knotted at 46-46. The first ten minutes of the second half were much of the same, as neither team could establish a dominant lead. The Cadets led for the last time at 62-61 with 11:03 remaining, when the Bobcats went on an 8-2 run over the next three m inutes to take a 69-64 lead. Norwich was able to stay close thanks to 3- point shooting, but the Bobcats were able to hold them off and take the 86-80 win. Garvey led the way with 26 points, but the difference came down to the frontcourt, where the Bobcats outscored Norwich, 47-20. Junior center Jesse Strandberg had 18 points and nine rebounds, while junior forward Mike Marsh had 16 points and nine boards.
The Bobcats may have been up for a little while after snapping the losing streak, but Middlebury brought them back to earth quickly, scoring the first eight points of the game. Bates was able to score just five points in the first five minutes. They were able to make a brief 9-0 run to cut the Panthers' lead from 14 to five with 6:02 left in the first half, but that was as close as they would get, trailing 44-30 at the break. In the first half they were outshot floor, 40.5 percent to 29.2 percent. The second half was not much better. Bates was able to get the lead to single digits twice early on, but Middlebury never really looked back and cruised to the 85-62 win. Piandes led all scorers with 22 points, but was held to just three assists, while Garvey only managed seven shots on his way to 11 points, one of his lowest outputs of the season.
The women had their way with Colby,winning every event but one. Seniors Melissa Saander and Beth Sawyer and sophomore Denby Johnson were all outstanding, winning three races each. Sander took the 1000 freestyle (11:19.82), the 100 and 200 butterfly (1:03.38 and 2:21.00). Sawyer had top honors in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle (26.46, 57.83, and 2:07.34). Johnson won the 100 and 200 backstroke (1:03.65 and 2:17.36) and the 200 individual medley (2:20.76).
The men, though they stayed close to Colby all day were never quite able to overtake the Mules, and fell five points short in the end. First-year swimmer Chris Orpill a had a fine day, winning the 100 and 200 yard breaststroke (1:05.38 and 2:21.84) while first-year diver David Burke once again dominated the diving competition, winning the 1-meter event with a score of 241. 40 and the 3-meters with a score of 231.90. Both scores were nearly seventy points better that the second place competitor. Other winners for the Bobcats were senior Chris Eastman in the 100 freestyle (50.37) and and first-year swimmer Damon Bowe in the 200-yard individual medley (2:05.68). The Bobcats also took the 200 medley relay (1:45.50) and freestyle relay (1:35.01). Unfortunately, because they were unable to field a second team in the freestyle, the Bobcats were unable to complete their comeback, as a second place finish in addition to a first place in that race would have caused an eight-point swing.
The women finish the regular season at 8-2, while the men end up 4-6.
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