LEWISTON, Maine — The Bates men’s basketball team made eight of 15 three-point shots and junior Max Hummel didn’t miss a shot on his way to a game-high 22 points in the Bobcats’ 88-74 win over Husson Tuesday night at Alumni Gymnasium.
Despite trailing 34-32 at halftime, Bates (4-1) handed the Eagles (4-1) their first loss of the year thanks to a dominating performance in the second half.
With 9:35 remaining in the game and the score tied at 55, junior Eli Frater (Brooklyn, N.Y.) hit a jumper to put Bates ahead for good. Sophomore Nick Gilpin (Hampden, Maine) hit a pair of free throws to extend the lead to four before Husson star Raheem Anderson hit a jumper to cut the Bobcat advantage to 59-57.
Hummel (Glastonbury, Conn.) answered with a three-pointer, one of four he hit on the evening to make the score 62-57 in favor of Bates. Hummel finished the game 8-8 from the floor and 4-4 from three. He also made both his free throw attempts on his way to matching his career-high for points in one game. Hummel chipped in a pair of rebounds and assists as well.
The Bobcats led 66-60 with just over six minutes left in the game when junior Nick Lynch (Westford, Mass.) made a layup to extend the lead to eight. Lynch battled foul trouble but turned in perhaps his best performance yet as a Bobcat with seven points, seven rebounds, an assist and a steal in 17 minutes of action. Hummel followed Lynch’s bucket with another three, putting the Bobcats up 71-60 with 4:57 remaining. Hummel scored 15 of his 22 points in the second half.
After Anderson split a pair of free throws, sophomore Tom Coyne (Falmouth, Maine) put the nail in the coffin with a three and a layup. Coyne finished with 17 points, five rebounds and two assists. He scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half.
The Bobcats shot 35.5% from the field in the first half before heating up to 55.2% (16-29) in the second half. Bates made five of their seven attempted threes in the second half while Husson made five threes the whole game. The Bobcats also excelled at the free throw line, hitting 26-31 free throws on the evening. Husson made 11-15 from the charity stripe.
Sophomore Jeff Spellman (Boston, Mass.) notched the first double-double of his career for Bates. He poured in 18 points to go along with a career-high 10 rebounds.
The game featured eight ties and eight lead changes, with the Eagles taking their largest lead of the game with 19:31 remaining in regulation. Mitch Worcester hit a three to put the Eagles up 37-32. But Coyne responded with an old fashioned three-point play to trim the deficit to two. Justin Martin and Coyne traded layups after that and Spellman made a pair of free throws to tie the game at 39 with 16:28 remaining.
Husson went back up by three before Gilpin’s three-point play with 14:48 left tied the game again.
Old fashioned three-point plays were the theme of the early portion of the second half, with Hummel converting one of his own a few minutes later to tie the game at 49.
Kyanti Blyden’s layup with 11:11 to go gave Husson its final lead of the game. After that, Spellman hit a three and the teams traded buckets until Frater’s jumper put Bates ahead for good. Frater scored eight points off the bench and added five rebounds.
Anderson scored 19 points to lead the Eagles, but many of his buckets came after the game was out of reach. Gilpin stuck with the preseason All-American all night, containing him and forcing the Eagles to go to other options. Blyden scored 14 off the bench and Corey Kaiser impressed with 11 points, 10 of those coming in the first half. Husson’s Justin Martin chipped in a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
The Bobcats are back in action Thursday when they visit Bowdoin for a non-conference game. Tip is set for 7:00 p.m.