LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates men's basketball team led by three at halftime but the Colby College Mules scored 51 points in the second half to defeat the Bobcats by a final score of 86-69 Saturday afternoon at Alumni Gymnasium in non-conference action.
Sean Gilmore led Colby (8-2) with a game-high 20 points, 14 of which came in the first half, keeping the Mules in the game until they got hot from distance in the second half. After making 6-20 from three in the first 20 minutes, the Mules hit 9-18 threes down the stretch. Five different Colby players scored in double figures on Saturday, with Wallace Tucker and Matt Hanna leading the charge in the second half. Tucker scored 12 of his 16 points and Hanna scored 10 of his 13 points in the final 20 minutes of action.
Junior Jeff Spellman (Boston, Mass.) led Bates (2-7) with 18 points, six rebounds and four assists. Senior captain Nick Lynch (Westford, Mass.) scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds. In his first career start, junior Kody Greenhalgh (West Warwick, R.I.) tallied 11 points, two rebounds and two assists.
In addition to Colby's improved shooting, the Mules also pounded the boards in the second half. Bates outrebounded Colby 39-37 on the afternoon but Colby outrebounded Bates 21-12 in the second half.
Lynch hit a jumper with 17:08 to go in the game to put Bates up 45-43. But Tucker hit a three on the other end to put the Mules ahead for good. That began a 9-0 run for Colby which senior captain Eli Frater (Brooklyn, N.Y.) ended with a three, cutting the Mule lead to 52-48 with 12:11 remaining.
Colby answered immediately, going on an 8-0 run to make the score 60-48. Gilmore started the run with a layup; then Ty Williams and Noah Tyson made back-to-back threes to give the Mules a double digit lead.
Lynch hit a pair of free throws only to see Tyson hit another three with 9:58 to go in the game, making it 63-50 in favor of the Mules.
The Mules led by as many as 22 points in the second half on their way to the win over the Bobcats.
It was a different story in the first half, with Bates jumping out to a 9-0 lead behind five early points from Spellman and four from Lynch. The Mules missed their first seven shots before Hannah hit a three with 15:03 left in the first half.
Colby got its offense going and went ahead 23-16 on a Tyson three with 8:47 left in the first.
Bates rallied and the action really picked up down the stretch of the opening half. With the Bobcats down 28-23, first-year Andrew Snoddy (Stow, Mass.) scored back-to-back buckets to trim the Colby lead to one. Then Frater scored to give Bates the lead again at 29-28 with 3:34 left.
Gilmore made a layup and Greenhalgh answered with a three. Tyson hit a three of his own before Greenhalgh drilled another triple to put Bates up 35-33 with 1:37 to go. With 49 seconds left, Spellman converted an old fashioned three-point play to extend the lead to five.
Colby held the ball for the final shot and Tucker scored with five seconds left to trim the Bates lead to 38-35 going in to halftime.
Sam Jefferson drilled a three to start the second half and the Mules soon took control of the game. With their strong second half, the Mules snapped the Bobcats' three-game winning streak against Colby.
Bates is back in action Friday, December 28 at Staten Island. Tip is set for 7:30pm.