Men’s basketball rolls over St. Joseph’s College, 84-69
|Brian Ellis ’11 recorded his fourth game of 20 points or more.|
LEWISTON, Maine — First-year forward Brian Ellis led four players in double figures with 20 points as the Bates College men’s basketball team beat St. Joseph’s College 84-69 in a non-league contest Tuesday night at Alumni Gymnasium.
Bates, rated No. 2 among Maine Division III teams, won its third straight game and is 11-5 on the season. The visiting Monks, tied at No. 5 in the state rankings, fell to 8-8.
Ellis (Braintree, Mass.) hit 8 of 13 shots and grabbed 6 rebounds in the game, while sophomore Chris Wilson (Brewer, Maine) added 17 points, with sophomore Jimmy O’Keefe (Lexington, Mass.) adding 10 points and a team-high 9 rebounds and junior Scott Place (Bridgewater, Mass.) tying his season high with 10 points off the bench.
Senior Bryan Wholey (Marshfield, Mass.), who this week has earned Player of the Week honors from the NESCAC and Co-Player of the Week honors from the Maine Men’s Basketball Coaches and Writers Association, dished out a career-high 8 assists to go with 9 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals.
St. Joseph’s sophomore Raymond Eatmon (Huntington, N.Y.) led the Monks with 12 points. First-year reserve Chris Davis (New York, N.Y.) scored 11 points and sophomore reserve Alberto Rue (Jamaica Plain, Mass.) added 10 points, all in the first half. Junior Elbie Murphy was held to 4 points on 0-for-9 shooting, 11 below his average, but grabbed a team-high 7 rebounds and tied junior Scot Vachon (Schenectady, N.Y.) for the team lead with 5 assists.
The Bobcats only trailed once in the game, at 1-0, although the Monks kept the game close for most of the way. Bates’ lead in the first half grew as high as 10 just once, at 34-24 with 2:41 to play in the period, and St. Joe’s responded with a 10-2 run, featuring three-pointers by first-year Eric Friend (Portland, Maine) and Rue, to close the gap to 36-34 before the hosts took a 40-34 lead into halftime.
Four Bates turnovers in the first 2 1/2 minutes of the second half kept the Monks hovering close early in the half, until Bates began pulling away with an 11-2 run, including five points from Wilson and added hoops by O’Keefe, Ellis, Wholey and first-year Alex Gallant (Bangor, Maine). Bates kept the lead in double digits for the final 15 minutes of the game, leading by as much as 22 (84-62) with 1:50 left. The Bobcats shot 62.1 percent in the second half while the Monks shot it at a 50 percent clip.
Bates established a clear advantage on the glass, with a 44-35 margin.
Bates will host a pair of NESCAC contests this weekend, with Wesleyan visiting Friday at 7 p.m. and Connecticut College visiting Saturday at 3 p.m.