|Bates College||Bowdoin College|
BRUNSWICK, Maine — First-year Tom Coyne poured in a career-high 23 points and went on a personal 9-0 run in the second half to lead the Bates men’s basketball team to a 64-59 road victory over the Bowdoin College Polar Bears Saturday afternoon.
The Bobcats (11-3, 2-0 NESCAC) won in Brunswick for the first time since 2011 and Bates is off to their first 2-0 start in NESCAC play since 2006, a year in which they won their first six NESCAC contests. The Bobcats’ 11-3 start overall matches their 11-3 start from 2014-15, the season Bates made their first NCAA tournament appearance.
Saturday’s thriller featured 11 ties and eight lead changes.
With 9:03 to go in the second half, Hugh O’Neil made a layup to put the Polar Bears (7-6, 0-2 NESCAC) up 51-42.
That’s when Coyne (Falmouth, Maine) took over.
He converted an old fashioned three-point play with 8:38 to go in the contest. Then Bowdoin missed a three on the other end and Coyne nailed a triple of his own to chop the lead down to 51-48.
After both teams failed to score on a couple of possessions, Coyne did it again. He drove and made a layup, drawing a foul in the process. The first-year calmly drained the free throw, finishing off his 9-0 run and tying the game at 51 with 7:06 remaining.
With 3:50 left in the contest, Jack Simonds hit a pair of free throws for the Polar Bears to give them a 59-57 lead.
But Coyne answered again. He nailed another three to put Bates on top for good.
Neither team scored for more than three minutes until senior Marcus Delpeche (Wilmington, Del.) got fouled on a put-back attempt with 18 seconds to go. Delpeche was cool as the other side of the pillow, knocking down both free throws to put Bates up by three, 62-59.
After Simonds missed a three, Bates secured the rebound and Coyne, appropriately enough, iced the game by making two free throws.
Coyne scored 14 of his game-high 23 points in the second half.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair. Neither team led by more than four points throughout the first half.
O’Neil put the Polar Bears up 8-4 with 15:10 left in the half with a layup. But junior Justin Zukowski (Portland, Maine) made back-to-back layups to tie the game at eight with 13:32 left.
Bowdoin went up 13-10 on an old fashioned three-point play from Jack Bors. That lead didn’t last long. Senior Quin Leary (Auburn, Maine) drained a three to tie the game at 13 with 10:49remaining.
With Bates trailing 15-13, Coyne hit back-to-back threes to put the Bobcats up 19-15 with 9:33 to go in the first half.
The teams traded buckets after that until another Coyne three put Bates up 31-27 with 1:39 on the clock.
Coyne finished the game 5 of 8 from three, making more three-pointers on the afternoon than the entire Bowdoin team.
That being said, David Reynolds did answer with a three of his own, and Bates led by one, 31-30, at intermission.
The Bobcats went on a quick 5-0 run to start the second half. Marcus Delpeche made a layup and sophomore Max Hummel (Glastonbury, Conn.) hit a three to give Bates their biggest lead of the game at 36-30.
Bowdoin responded with an 8-2 run, tying things up at 38 on a Tim Ahn three-pointer with 16:09 to go in the game.
Bowdoin took the lead on another Ahn three and went up 43-40 thanks to a Simonds jumper with 13:58 left.
Senior Malcolm Delpeche (Wilmington, Del.) threw down a slam dunk to cut the deficit to one, but Bowdoin went on an 8-0 run, taking their biggest lead of the game at 51-42.
After that, Coyne took over and Bates prevailed.
The Delpeche twins each scored eight points and pulled down seven rebounds for Bates. Malcolm Delpeche added five blocks. First-year Nick Gilpin (Hampden, Maine) dished out a team-high four assists while pulling down seven rebounds of his own and scoring five points.
Simonds led Bowdoin with 17 points and O’Neil tallied a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Reynolds added 12 points off the bench.