Bates men's basketball team suffers first loss, 77-68 at USM


GORHAM, Maine -- The University of Southern Maine dealt the Bates College men's basketball its first loss of the 2005-06 season Tuesday night at Warren G. Hill Gymnasium, 77-68, behind 20 points from forward Bill Hardwick (Boothbay, Maine).

The Bobcats (2-1) struggled to find the bottom of the net for much of the game, and it ended up costing them. They shot 35.3 percent from the floor in the first half, and went through a period of doldrums early in the second half that allowed the Huskies (2-1) to build a 12-point lead (47-35), fueled by a pair of 3-pointers from Foster Oakley.

Bates was revived after a timeout and climbed back to within three points (59-56), but Hardwick responded with some clutch interior baskets, several of them just before the shot clock expired, down the stretch to help hold the Bobcats at bay.

Junior forward Rob Stockwell (Temple, N.H.) collected his second double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while senior center Matt Chudomel (Wellfleet, Mass.) notched his first career double-double, with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Junior guard Zak Ray (Bangor, Maine) added 15 points, five rebounds, two steals and three assists for Bates.

Hardwick led four players in double figures for USM. Sophomore point guard Andy Frost (Brewer, Maine) scored 15 points with five steals and four assists, sophomore Walter Phillips (Portland, Maine) had 13 points and six assists, and sophomore Josh Daniels (Everett, Wash.) had 11 points, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that ended the first half with a 32-31 Huskies lead.

Bates has its home opener on Monday, Nov. 28 against Thomas College at 7 p.m.