Men's basketball overcomes slow start, beats Connecticut College 69-56

Max Hummel made five three-pointers to help lead the Bobcats to a 69-56 win at Connecticut College on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

NEW LONDON, Conn. -- The Bates men's basketball team missed its first 15 field goal attempts on Saturday against Connecticut College. Then the Bobcats caught fire to beat the Camels 69-56 behind 17 points apiece from sophomore Jeff Spellman and junior Max Hummel

First-year James Mortimer (Sudbury, Mass.) gave Bates (10-10, 3-4 NESCAC) the lead for good when he made a three-pointer with 5:39 left in the game to put Bates up 53-52. 

The Camels (6-13, 0-7 NESCAC) kept within striking distance until Hummel (Glastonbury, Conn.) made a three-pointer to extend the Bobcat lead to four with 3:30 left. 

That started a 12-0 run for Bates that put the game out of reach for the host Camels. After Hummel's three, Spellman (Boston, Mass.) made a jumper and followed that up with a layup, forcing the Camels to start fouling with less than two minutes left in regulation. The Bobcats made seven of their eight free throws down the stretch to seal the win.  

For the first nine minutes of action, the Bobcats only scored via a pair of free throws and Bates trailed the Camels by a score of 12-2.

That's when Hummel drilled his first of five three-pointers on the afternoon to trim the deficit to 12-5 with 11:01 remaining in the first half. Junior Nick Lynch (Westford, Mass.) followed with a jumper and sophomore Kody Greenhalgh (Warwick, R.I.) drilled a three to get the Bobcats within two with 9:58 left.

The first half proved to be a back-and-forth battle after the opening 10 minutes, with the Camels pushing their advantage to eight before Bates rallied again to take a 28-27 lead on a Hummel three with three minutes to go.

Despite their slow start, the Bobcats led 33-29 at halftime. Spellman scored six of his 17 points in the first half while Hummel added 10. 

In the second half, Bates extended its lead to 44-36 on a Greenhalgh three with 14:23 to go in regulation. But the Camels refused to back down, going on a 12-0 run to take a 48-44 lead with 9:49 left. 

Trailing 51-46 after a timeout, the Bobcats answered in a big way, and once again Hummel came up huge. The sharp shooter knocked down another three to cut the deficit to two and less than three minutes later, Mortimer gave Bates a lead they did not relinquish.

Dan Draffan scored a game-high 18 points for the Camels. Ben Bagnoli and David Labossiere added 16 and 14 points respectively.

The Bobcats made 13-35 threes (37.1%) while the Camels tallied five threes on 17 attempts (29.4%).

Bates did a great job hanging on to the ball. The Bobcats only committed three turnovers on the afternoon and forced the Camels into 14 turnovers. 

With the win, the Bobcats sit in eighth place in the NESCAC standings with three games remaining. They have a non-conference road game at Maine-Farmington Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. before hosting Hamilton (4-2), Amherst (4-2) and Trinity (2-3) down the stretch at Alumni Gym.