Bates 63, Wesleyan 58
BATES MEN DROP WESLEYAN, 63-58
The Bates College men's basketball team outscored the visiting Wesleyan University Cardinals, 9-4, over the final 2:21 to break a 54-54 tie and pick up a NESCAC Conference victory, 63-58, and snap the Bobcats' five-game losing skid.
Bates (7-13, 2-3 NESCAC) never trailed by more than three points, with that deficit coming early in the contest. The Bobcats enjoyed a 28-26 lead at the half by holding Wesleyan (11-8, 2-5 NESCAC) to just 20 percent shooting from the field (10-49), though the Cardinals' 20 offensive rebounds kept them in the contest. Wesleyan's Leo Jones (Englewood, N.J.) led all scorers at the break with 10 points.
Wesleyan tied the game on three different occasions in the second half, even taking a brief 53-52 lead with 3:14 left in the game on a 3-pointer from sophomore guard George Thompson (Orange Park, Fla.). Bates answered with a tip-in of an offensive rebound by first-year reserve forward C.J. Neely (No. Easton, Mass.). Cardinal senior Matt Hochstein (Shrewsbury, Mass.) had a chance to give his team the lead back at the 2:21 mark, but hit just one of two free throws to tie the game, 54-54.
Bates scored the next two buckets of the game on a short runner from sophomore captain Alex Wilson (Duxbury, Mass.) and a trifecta from sophomore co-captain Ed Walker (Roxbury, Mass.) that gave the Bobcats a 59-54 lead with 1:10 left. The Cardinals had a chance to cut into the lead, but missed three of their next four free throws, while Bates first-year guard Matt LaPointe (Beverly, Mass.) hit all four of his from the charity stripe.
Bates' Wilson led all scorers with 15 points, while Walker recorded his second straight double-double with 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. The Bobcats' shooting improved from 26 percent in the first half to 54 percent in the second (14-of-26)
Wesleyan was led by Jones' 12 points and Thompson's 11, including three 3-pointers. Hochstein and Avery Esdaile (New Haven, Conn.) had 10 each. Esdaile's nine rebounds led the Cardinals, who enjoyed a 33-9 advantage on the offensive glass, but shot just 4-of-26 from 3-point range.