BANGOR, Maine – Husson Men's Basketball team were overcome by the Bates Bobcats in a tough, physical match-up, 72-62, handing the Eagles their first loss of the 2016-17 season.
The Eagles (3-1) kept themselves in the game with some late, clutch scoring, but Husson's 16 turnovers and a 34.4% success rate from the floor helped the Bobcats (3-1) to capture their second away victory of the season. Raheem Anderson led all scorers with 20 points, 18 of those from behind the arch. Justin Martin turned in a dominant defensive performance with 21 rebounds – the first 20-rebound performance for the Eagles since 2011 – along with three blocks and two steals. It was Bates' team performance that led them to the win, however, as four of their players finished with double digit points. Jerome Darling led the Bobcats with 16 points, Tom Coyne finished with 15, and Marcus Delpeche had 13. Delpeche added 15 rebounds, and his twin brother, Malcolm, finished with 9 rebounds of his own.
Both teams came out fighting, effectively keeping neutralizing each other through scrappy defense and loose shooting. Alonzo McCain brought the Eagles to double digits with a three-point shot, staking Husson to an early six-point lead after nine minutes of play. Coyne took over for Bates, scoring nine points from behind the arch in the space of five minutes to give the Bobcats the 19-16 lead. Anderson and Eli Itkin responded with a couple three-point shots to reclaim the lead for the Eagles, but a late three-point shot for Coyne and a couple free throws for Max Hummel gave Bates the 31-27 lead at half-time.
Coyne led all scorers in the first half with 12 points, all from behind the arch. The Eagles struggled to take their chances, especially late in the half, with the physical advantage of the Bates team showing. The Bobcats accumulated eight personal fouls in the half and applied constant pressure to Husson's shooters.
The Eagles began the second half on top, with Mitch Worcester and Justin Smith clawing Husson back to an early 36-35 lead. Coyne and Marcus Delpeche then stepped up for Bates as the Bobcats regained the lead. Bates never relinquished the lead after that, despite a late Eagles rally led by Anderson. McCain setup a thrilling final when he buried a three-point shot to bring the Eagles to within six points, with only 28 seconds left on the clock. The Bobcats stellar free throw shooting made it safe as they buried four from the line to close out the victory at 72-62. The Bates team was perfect from the free throw line, going seven-for-seven.
The Eagles will try to get back in the win column when they travel to Maine Maritime on Tuesday, December 6.