Southern Maine 78, Bates 76
BOBCATS DROP SQUEAKER TO USM, 78-76
GORHAM, Maine (Taken from a USM press release) -- Freshman point guard Mike Francoeur (Somersworth, N.H.) scored four of the University of Southern Maine's final five points to help the Huskies gain their first win of the season, a 78-76 decision over the Bates College Bobcats in a non-conference game Tuesday night at the Warren G. Hill Gymnasium.
Southern Maine tied the game at 73-73 with 2:30 to play when freshman forward Jay Casterella (Portland, Maine) buried a three-point shot from the corner. Bates regained the lead on its next possession when sophomore guard Ramon Garcia (Haverhill, Mass.) hit a three-pointer.
Francoeur hit two free throws with 1:55 left to pull the Huskies within one, then hit what proved to be the winning shot with 25 seconds to play, giving USM a 77-76 lead. Casterella was fouled with ten seconds to go, and made one of two free throws.
Neither team was able to build a big lead in the game. USM had a six-point lead late in the first half, but the Bobcats used an 11-3 run over the final three minutes to take a 42-40 lead in to the locker room at the Half.
Bates had a 58-51 margin midway through the second half behind senior Alex Wilson's (Duxbury, Mass.) six points, but the Huskies came back to outscore the visitors 14-7 over a five minute span to tie the game at 65-65. There were four lead changes over the final seven minutes of play.
Wilson led all scorers in the game with 18 points and shared game-high rebounding honors with St. Pierre with ten caroms. Senior guard Billy Hart (Haverhill, Mass.) chipped in with 11 points and junior Angelo Salvaggio (Portland, Maine) contributed 10 points off the bench.
Casterella led three players in double figures for the Huskies with 15 points. Francoeur finished with 13 points while senior swingman Jason St. Pierre (Bangor, Maine) had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Southern Maine will be off until Tuesday, November 27 when Bowdoin College comes to Gorham. Bates will play the University of New England in its home opener on Monday, November 26.
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