Bates men's basketball team's 16-game win streak ends at Tufts

BOX SCORE

Bryan Wholey '08 led Bates in scoring with his second straight 20-plus point day.

MEDFORD, Mass. -- Sophomore Ryan O’Keefe (Everett, Mass.) scored 21 points as the Tufts University men’s basketball team ended Bates College’s 16-game winning streak with a 91-76 victory in NESCAC action at Cousens Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.


The loss is the first for Bates (19-3, 6-1 NESCAC) in conference play this winter and their first overall since November 30 at Endicott. The Jumbos, meanwhile, have won six straight and improved to 17-4 overall and 5-2 in the league.

A tight first half ended with Tufts taking a 44-41 lead to the locker room. The margin didn’t exceed six points on either side in the first 20 minutes. Bates got off strong and led 8-2 three minutes into the game on a jumper by Rob Stockwell (Temple, N.H.), who had 13 points and eight rebounds at the break for the Bobcats. The Jumbos used an 8-2 spurt to break a 34-34 tie late in the first half. O’Keefe had 12 for the Jumbos at the half. Both teams shot better than 50-percent, with Tufts connecting at a 54.3 clip (19/35).

The Jumbos narrowly held on to their lead in the first four minutes of the second half before taking control. Leading 53-52, they used a 13-3 run to take a 66-55 advantage at 12:27. Senior co-captain Brian Fitzgerald (Bedford, N.H.) had eight points during the stretch to fuel the run.

Over the next five minutes, Bates was able to cut the Tufts lead to six points on three occasions. The score was 72-66 Tufts after two free throws by Bates junior Zak Ray (Bangor, Maine) at 7:11. A 9-1 Tufts run, spurred by six points from O’Keefe, put the Jumbo lead back into double-digits at 81-67 with 4:14 on the clock. The Bobcats twice pulled within nine points, including 82-73 following a lay-up by sophomore Bryan Wholey (Marshfield, Mass.) at 2:45. The Jumbos, however, were able to keep them at a distance to earn their biggest win of the season thus far.

Tufts made 7 of 14 three-point field goal attempts in the second half, compared to a 2 for 15 (13.3%) performance by the Bobcats. Fitzgerald finished 4 for 4 from behind the line, including an icing-on-the-cake three with three seconds remaining. Bates shot just 36.4 percent (12-33) total in the second half.

The Jumbos got big points from several sources. Senior tri-captain Dan Martin (Sandwich, Mass.) had 19 and Fitzgerald recorded a career-high 15 with seven rebounds. Sophomore Jake Weitzen (New York, N.Y.) finished with 13 points and six rebounds, including a big three at 5:29 that moved an eight-point margin to 11.

Wholey led Bates with 21 points, but missed all five of his three-point attempts. Stockwell hauled in 18 rebounds to go with 20 points. Ray scored 12 points and added six assists.

TUFTS JUMBOS 91, BATES COLLEGE 76

BATES COLLEGE (19-3, 6-1)
Bryan Wholey 7-16 7-8 21; Rob Stockwell 9-17 0-4 20; Zak Ray 1-4 10-12 12; Sean Cahill 3-4 0-0 8; Pat Halloran 3-10 0-0 8; Matt Chudomel 2-4 0-0 4; Mark Westhuis 1-1 0-0 2; Sam Taylor 0-2 1-2 1; John Lattimer 0-2 0-0 0.

Totals 26-60 18-26 76.

TUFTS JUMBOS (17-4, 5-2)
Ryan O'Keefe 8-16 3-4 21; Dan Martin 7-9 5-5 19; Brian Fitzgerald 5-8 1-2 15; Jake Weitzen 5-12 1-3 13; Brian Kumf 3-8 2-3 8; David Shepherd 3-7 2-3 8; Jeremy Black 2-4 0-0 5; Aaron Gallant 1-1 0-0 2; Jason Grauer 0-2 0-0 0.

Totals 34-67 14-20 91.

Bates College.................   41   35  -   76

Tufts Jumbos..................   44   47  -   91

3-point goals-Bates College 6-24 (Pat Halloran 2-9; Rob Stockwell 2-5; Sean Cahill 2-3; Zak Ray 0-2; Bryan Wholey 0-5), Tufts Jumbos 9-20 (Brian Fitzgerald 4-4; Jake Weitzen 2-5; Ryan O'Keefe 2-6; Jeremy Black 1-2; Jason Grauer 0-1; David Shepherd 0-2). Fouled out--Bates College-None, Tufts Jumbos-None. Rebounds-Bates College 41 (Rob Stockwell 18), Tufts Jumbos 35 (Brian Fitzgerald 7). Assists-Bates College 12 (Zak Ray 6), Tufts Jumbos 16 (Jeremy Black 5). Total fouls-Bates College 21, Tufts Jumbos 17. A-1300