Junior achievement vaults men's basketball to 81-71 win at Colby

Junior Jeff Spellman's outstanding all-around game paced Bates in a NESCAC win at Colby on January 5, 2019. (File photo by Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

WATERVILLE, Maine -- Four junior guards combined to score 59 points for the Bates men's basketball team Saturday as the Bobcats jumped to a 16-point lead in the first half and held off Colby for an 81-71 victory in Wadsworth Gymnasium.

The Bobcats (3-10, 1-1 NESCAC) snapped an eight-game skid with their best shooting performance of the season. Bates made 8-of-11 (.727) from three-point range in the first half and finished 11-17 (a season-high .647) behind the arc for the game.

Juniors Tom Coyne (Falmouth, Maine), Kody Greenhalgh (West Warwick, R.I.) and Jeff Spellman (Boston, Mass.) scored 15 points apiece, while junior Nick Gilpin (Hampden, Maine) added 14 points, shooting 3-4 from three, to go with four assists, four rebounds, three steals and just one turnover.

The host Mules (9-3, 1-1 NESCAC), the consensus top-ranked Division III team in Maine and the most accurate three-point shooting team in the NESCAC, made 10-of-35 (.286) shots from behind the arc.

Matt Hanna led Colby with a game-high 25 points on 10-for-15 shooting from the field and 5-of-8 from 3-point range. Sam Jefferson added 12 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Noah Tyson scored 10 points and pulled down eight rebounds for the Mules.

Spellman finished with a team-high eight rebounds as well as two assists and two steals and only one turnover. Greenhalgh tallied his 15 points on 5-for-7 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 from long range.

Senior Max Hummel (Glastonbury, Conn.) scored nine points and senior Nick Lynch (Westford, Mass.) added eight points, six rebounds and two blocks.

Colby held a 10-9 lead in the opening half, but the Bobcats used a 9-0 run to go up 18-10 and never trailed from that point. Greenhalgh scored four points in the run, followed by a Gilpin three and a jumper by sophomore James Mortimer (Sudbury, Mass.).

With the score 36-25, Greenhalgh and Coyne nailed 3-point shots for a 42-27 margin. The Bobcats took a 48-37 lead into halftime.

Bates led 54-44 when the Mules went a 10-0 run capped off by a 3-point shot by Hanna to tie the score at 54.

With the Bobcats up 62-60, Bates went on a 6-0 run for a 68-60 margin and pushed the lead to double digits. First-year Kenny Aruwajoye (Owo, Nigeria) found Gilpin open for a three to make it 65-60, and with 9:20 to go Coyne drained a three to make it 68-60. Back-to-back hoops and a free throw by Coyne pushed the lead into double digits (75-62) with under five minutes remaining.

Bates will next host Thomas College in a non-league game Tuesday at 7:30pm.