BRUNSWICK, Maine -- The Bates College men's basketball team jumped out to an early lead and held off a late charge by Bowdoin to take a key NESCAC-opening win on Friday, 57-54. The Bobcats improve to 10-2 this season while Bowdoin drops to 8-5.
Stingy defense and a red-hot first-half from Bryan Wholey gave the Bobcats a 31-16 edge at intermission. Wholey connected on all four three-pointers he attempted in the stanza as Bates hit on 62% (10-16) of their shots in the first half.
The Bobcats extended their advantage to 18 points to begin the second period before Bowdoin started chipping away. A jumper by Andrew Hippert with 15:45 remaining sparked a 7-0 spurt that cut the lead to 11, 38-27. With under two minutes remaining, Bowdoin started to connect from long distance as Kevin Bradley and Jordan Fliegel buried three-pointers to cut the Bates edge to three points with 27 seconds to play.
Following a pair of Bates free-throws, Andrew Hippert hit a three-pointer and was fouled, cutting the Bates lead to two points with five seconds remaining. The sophomore guard deliberately missed the free throw, but Mark Westhuis grabbed the rebound for Bates, sealing the game.
Wholey led all scorers with 21 points and was the only Bobcat in double-digits. Rob Stockwell had five points, but grabbed 14 rebounds for Bates. Kyle Petrie had a team-high 20 points for Bowdoin, while Kevin Bradley (10 points, four assists) and Jordan Fliegel (10 points) also saw double figures.