Men’s basketball claws back, falls short at USM
|Jimmy O’Keefe ’10 recorded 10 points and six rebounds, shooting 5-of-7 from the floor.|
GORHAM, Maine — Sophomore forward Greg Whitaker (Presque Isle, Maine) led three players in double-figures with a game-high 18 points as the University of Southern Maine Huskies grinded out a 62-59 win over the Bates College Bobcats Tuesday evening at Warren G. Hill Gymnasium in Gorham, Maine.
Whitaker was 6-for-12 from the field and a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the final 27 seconds of the game as the Huskies earned their second straight victory to improve to 2-1. The Bobcats remain winless at 0-3.
Whitaker had a solid all-around game for the Huskies with eight rebounds, five assists, a blocked shot and a steal. Senior guard Josh Daniels (Everett, Wash.) joined Whitaker in double-digit scoring with 17 points, while senior forward Drew Coppenrath (Barnet, Vt.) tossed in 11 points.
First-year Brian Ellis (Braintree, Mass.) led four Bobcats in double figures with 17 points on a 5-for-7 effort from the field. Senior guard Pat Halloran (Plymouth, N.H.) scored 13 points off of the bench for Bates, while senior guard Bryan Wholey (Marshfield, Mass.) and sophomore forward Jimmy O’Keefe (Lexington, Mass.) each scored 10 points and tied for the team lead with six rebounds apiece. Wholey also notched team highs of five assists and three steals. Junior Scott Place (Bridgewater, Mass.) chipped in seven points and four rebounds for Bates.
In a closely contested match that featured eight ties and 16 lead changes, Southern Maine came out on top. Ahead by nine, 56-47, following a three-pointer from Coppenrath with 3:02 remaining, USM saw its lead dwindle to two points in a span of one minute. Bates used five straight points from Halloran on a jump shot and a three-pointer and a pair of free throws from Ellis to pull within a bucket of the Huskies, 56-54, with 1:46 remaining.
Daniels answered for USM, making a short jumper off of a driving feed from freshman guard Phil Broomfield (Hackensack, N.J.) on the next play. But Ellis again brought the Bobcats two within two points, 58-56, on a pair of foul shots with 30 seconds showing on the clock.
Forced to foul, Bates sent Whitaker to the line for a one-and-one situation, with 27 seconds remaining. Whitaker knocked down both free throws for a 60-56 lead, but Halloran spotted up on the right wing and drained his second three-pointer of the night to cut the USM lead to one, 60-59, with 16 seconds remaining.
The Bobcats had a chance for the win after a USM turnover, but a steal from Daniels returned the ball to USM in the final seconds, setting up Whitaker for the final two free throws.
Southern Maine hosts Bowdoin College on Tuesday Nov. 27 in its next contest at 8 p.m. Bates travels to Endicott College on the same day for a 7:30 p.m. game.
– University of Southern Maine Sports Information