AMHERST, Mass. -- Junior Jeff Spellman set a season-high for points in a game for the second straight day but the Bates men's basketball team fell 75-64 at No. 23 nationally ranked Amherst Saturday afternoon.
Grant Robinson scored six of his team-high 17 points in the final four minutes of the game to help the Mammoths (17-3, 5-2 NESCAC) pull away from the Bobcats (6-15, 3-6 NESCAC) down the stretch. After Bates pulled within four points at 64-60 with 3:56 remaining in regulation, Garrett Day hit a key three to spark the Mammoths' late run. Day went 4-9 from downtown and finished the night with 12 points. Robinson pulled down nine rebounds and he and Day handed out four assists apiece.
Spellman (Boston, Mass.) led all players with 24 points for the Bobcats, 18 of them in the second half where he was 6-10 from the floor. Spellman had three assists and three steals for Bates, and was a perfect 4-4 at the free-throw line.
Amherst's Dylan Groff had eight points in the opening twenty minutes in just ten minutes of action, including 2-5 from behind the three-point line. Day was also 2-4 from distance in the first half, while Bates was led by six points apiece from senior captain Nick Lynch (Westford, Mass.) and Spellman.
Amherst looked to be on their way to a big victory by scoring the first five points and opening up a 16-8 lead on a reverse layup by C.J. Bachmann. A three-pointer by Day put the home team up 21-10, but that would be Amherst's only double-digit lead of the first half.
Bates stormed back to score the next nine points, capped by a triple by senior captain Brandon Galloway (Fort Washington, Md.) and the teams played within a five-point margin for the rest of the period, with Amherst ahead 31-30 at the break.
Both teams finished the night shooting 8-28 from behind the three-point line, but Amherst managed 44.8% from the field to just 35.9% for Bates. The Mammoths had a 40-18 edge in points in the paint and saw their reserves outscore the Bates bench 30-9, led by ten points from Fru Che, eight points from Josh Chery and seven points from Eric Sellew, who also grabbed nine rebounds.
Lynch poured in 15 points for the Bobcats while corralling six rebounds and grabbing a pair of steals.
Bates leaves NESCAC play for the moment to host UMaine-Farmington on Tuesday at 7:00 PM.