Hot-shooting Polar Bears top men's basketball in NESCAC opener

Sophomore James Mortimer led Bates with a season-high 17 points off the bench against Bowdoin on Friday, January 4, 2019. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

BRUNSWICK, Maine – Senior Jack Simonds matched his career high with 35 points, including 27 points in the first half, to lead hot-shooting Bowdoin to a 99-70 win over the Bates men's basketball team on Friday night in both teams' NESCAC opener.

Bates (2-10, 0-1 NESCAC) plays at Colby Saturday at 3pm, looking to snap an eight-game skid and pick up a conference victory. Bowdoin (8-3, 1-0) hosts Tufts at the same time.

Bowdoin connected on 62.5% from the field in the first twenty minutes and extended its lead to 58-34 at the break.

The Polar Bears shot even better in the second half (66.7%) as they continued to pull away from the Bobcats, pushing the lead as high as 37. Bates suffered its worst loss of the season in terms of scoring margin.

Simonds helped put the game out of reach before intermission. Both teams shot well in the early going, but Simonds scored 11 of Bowdoin's first 13 points and spearheaded a 10-0 run that pushed the Polar Bear lead to double digits, 23-10, midway through the opening period.

Simonds finished with 35 points and seven rebounds, on 15-20 shooting from the field, including 4-9 from three-point range. Hugh O'Neil added 14 points and seven boards while David Reynolds added 14 points and six rebounds for the hosts.

Sophomore James Mortimer (Sudbury, Mass.) led Bates with a season-high 17 points off the bench. Mortimer connected on 7-of-10 from the field.

Junior Jeff Spellman (Boston, Mass.) and Nick Gilpin (Hampden, Maine) scored in double figures for the Bobcats with 14 and 11 points, respectively.

Bowdoin owned a 40-20 edge in rebounding and finished at 64% shooting for the game, including 9-19 (47.4%) from long distance. Bates ended at 45% from the field.

First-year center Kenny Aruwajoye (Owo, Nigeria) matched his season high with eight points and added four rebounds in the loss. Fellow rookie Cole Phaire (Washington, D.C.) scored a season-high five points.