Men's basketball falls to Saint Joseph's 75-72 in overtime

Kody Greenhalgh scored a career-high 12 points on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 against St. Joseph's College. (Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- Sophomore Jeff Spellman poured in 28 points and sophomore Kody Greenhalgh added a career-high 12 but the Bates men's basketball team fell just short in a 75-72 overtime loss to Saint Joseph's (Me.) Tuesday night at Alumni Gymnasium. 

The game featured 13 ties and six lead changes. The Monks (6-5) got a huge performance from Darian Berry in their first win over the Bobcats (7-5) since 2013. Berry tallied 28 points on 10-13 shooting and grabbed six rebounds. The Monks' Ian Mileikis scored all 11 of his points in the second half and Aaron Hall added 10 points and eight rebounds. 

The Monks took the lead for good on a Mileikis jumper with 3:48 left in overtime. After the Bobcats missed a layup on the other end, Berry converted another bucket to extend the Monk lead to three. 

Spellman (Boston, Mass.) drained a pair of free throws with one minute remaining to trim the deficit to one. After Spellman's free throws, Berry missed a layup but Hall tipped the ball in to put the Monks back up by three. Sophomore Tom Coyne (Falmouth, Maine) drove quickly to the hoop to make the score 73-72 with 23 seconds remaining. 

The Bobcats thought they had a clean steal on the inbounds pass, but a foul was called, sending the Monks to the line. Mileikis split a pair of free throws and Spellman missed a jumper, giving the ball back to the Monks. Berry split a pair of free throws as well with nine seconds left, giving Bates one more chance. A last second three from Mortimer came up short and the Monks held on for the win. 

The Bobcats had a great chance to win at the end of regulation. Coyne made a layup with 44 seconds left to go in the game to tie the score at 64. The Bobcats forced a turnover at the other end and Coyne missed a three with time winding down. Greenhalgh (Warwick, R.I.) came up a little strong on a tip-in attempt at the buzzer, sending the contest to overtime.

Bates trailed for most of the first half until Spellman hit a three with 1:46 left to put the Bobcats up 28-25. Bates led 31-28 at the break and never led by more than four points on the evening.

The Bobcats held on to their halftime lead until Mileikis made a jumper with 14:50 left in regulation. The Monks went up by six with 10:30 left on a Jae Johns layup. Bates called a timeout and came out firing on all cylinders. Junior Max Hummel (Glastonbury, Conn.) hit a three and Greenhalgh followed that up with a three of his own to tie the game at 49 with 9:20 remaining.

A Hall layup with 6:37 left put the Monks up five but Greenhalgh answered again with a three-pointer. Junior Nick Lynch (Westford, Mass.) converted a layup to tie the game at 58 with 5:58 to go. Bates' last lead in regulation came with 4:22 remaining when Greenhalgh made a pair of free throws. Mileikis hit a jumper with 1:34 left to tie the game. Then he hit another jumper with 58 seconds remaining before Coyne tied things up to force overtime.

Lynch finished the game with seven points and a team-high nine rebounds. Hummel hit three of his five threes to finish with nine points. 

The Bobcats open NESCAC play Friday when they host Bowdoin at 7:00 p.m.