BRUNSWICK, Maine – Trailing 64-61 with eight minutes remaining in the game after a furious rally from the University of Southern Maine Huskies to grab the lead, Bowdoin College responded with a 15-0 run over the next five minutes to create enough separation, and secure an 86-79 win in a non-conference men’s basketball game Tuesday night at Morrell Gymnasium.
Playing in their first home game of the season, the Bowdoin College Polar Bears improve to 3-2 overall. Southern Maine evens out to 3-3 on the season with the loss.
Sophomore Jack Simonds (Falmouth, Maine) led five Polar Bears in double figures with 19 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Tim Ahn (La Mirada, Calif./Sunny Hills), junior Liam Farley (Chicago, Ill./Latin School of Chicago) and freshman David Reynolds (Raleigh, N.C./Northfield Mount Hermon) each scored 13 points, while Ahn posted a double-double with a game-high 14 assists. Senior Neil Fuller (Sandy Springs, Ga./Marist School) rounded out the double digit scoring with 12 points.
Senior Zach Leal (York, Maine) led all scorers with a career-best 30 points on 10-for-20 shooting from the field, adding six assist and six rebounds. Senior James Starks III (Miami, Fla./Miami Killian Senior) notched his fourth double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while senior Jalen Lincoln (Nobleboro, Maine/Lincoln Academy) scored a career-best 18 points in a strong performance off of the bench.
Down 42-33 to start the second half, Southern Maine rallied to make it a one-possession game early in the second half. Bowdoin scored the first points of the half on a layup from Fuller, but Southern Maine rattled off eight straight points on a three from Lincoln, a three from junior Christian McCue (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) and layup from Starks to trail 44-41 with 18:06 left.
Despite the game tightening early in the second, Bowdoin did not relinquish its lead and held a 59-51 lead with 13:09 to play after a jumper from Reynolds on a feed from Ahn. USM’s Lincoln took over on the next two possessions canning back-to-back three pointers to cut into the lead 59-57 with 12:01 to play. Another basket from Fuller momentarily stopped the Huskies’ run to put the Polar Bears up 61-57, before USM scored seven unanswered points to snag its first lead of the game 64-61 with 8:18 left. Starks and Leal scored all seven of the Huskies’ points.
Bowdoin responded however with its pivotal run started by four consecutive free throws from Ahn and back-to-back threes from Simonds and Farley to make it 71-64 with 6:35 to play. After the Farley three, Simonds took over scoring five straight points to balloon the Polar Bear lead with 76-64, before Lincoln halted the run with a three as USM trailed 76-67 with 3:51 on the clock.
Southern Maine continued to fight and cut its disadvantage to two-possessions on two occasions in the closing minutes. Leal put USM within striking distance, 82-77, in the final minute with a traditional three-point play, but Bowdoin closed out the game for the 86-79 fina