Men’s basketball team loses NESCAC playoff at Bowdoin
BRUNSWICK, Maine — The Bowdoin College men’s basketball team advanced to the NESCAC Semifinals for the first time in program history with a convincing 83-50 over Bates in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament Saturday. The Polar Bears (20-5) set a school record for wins in a season by avenging two previous losses to the Bobcats this year. Bates’ season comes to a close with a mark of 17-8.
Bowdoin stormed out of the gates in Saturday’s contest, opening up a double-digit advantage midway through the period thanks to a 11-0 run. The surge was sparked by a two-handed dunk from Mark Phillips and capped by a three-pointer from Andrew Hippert, one of five first-half trifectas for the senior captain.
Another Hippert three-pointer started a 12-0 run later in the period that pushed the advantage to 19 points, 30-11 with five minutes left in the half. The Polar Bear defense held Bates to 22% shooting in the opening frame as Hippert had more points (21) in the stanza than Bates (18).
Down 41-18 at the half, Bates could never find their footing in the second period. The Bobcats were able to cut the lead to 21 points on two occasions, but the Polar Bears continued their hot shooting and extended the lead to as many as 34 points in the closing moments.
Bowdoin connected on 60% of their first-half tries (including 6-9 from three-point range) and finished at 52% for the contest. A week after beating Bowdoin in Morrell Gymnasium behind 52% shooting in the second half, Bates went cold on Saturday, connecting on just 28% for the game.
Hippert led all scorers with 28 points, with Jordan Fliegel posting 14 and Kyle Jackson 10. Fliegel and Jackson each had nine rebounds as Bowdoin held a 45-30 edge on the glass.
First-year forward Brian Ellis (Braintree, Mass.), making his return from a two-game absence due to a concussion, was the lone double-digit scorer for Bates with 12 points. Senior co-captains Bryan Wholey (Marshfield, Mass.) and Pat Halloran (Plymouth, N.H.) closed out their fine careers with eight points apiece. Sophomore Jimmy O’Keefe (Lexington, Mass.) grabbed a team-high six rebounds.