Big second half carries men's basketball to 73-65 win over UMaine-Farmington

Senior captain Nick Lynch threw down a pair of dunks and the Bates men's basketball team defeated UMaine-Farmington 73-65 on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. (Samuel Mironko '21 for Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates men's basketball team trailed for most of the first half before taking control down the stretch to defeat the University of Maine-Farmington Beavers by a final score of 73-65 Tuesday night at Alumni Gymnasium. 

Senior captain Nick Lynch (Westford, Mass.) recorded his fifth double-double of the season, pacing the Bobcats (7-15) with 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Juniors Kody Greenhalgh (West Warwick, R.I.) and Tom Coyne (Falmouth, Maine) got hot down the stretch, finishing with 16 and 12 points respectively. Greenhalgh recorded a team-high three steals, dished out four assists and hit 4-12 three-pointers. Coyne recorded three assists and hit 3-9 from beyond the arc. Junior Nick Gilpin (Hampden, Maine) added 10 points on 3-4 shooting to go along with six rebounds and a team-high six assists. 

Bill Ruby led all scorers with 27 points on 10-16 shooting to pace the Beavers (15-7); he also grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Amir Moss tallied 15 points, six rebounds and three assists. Riley Robinson added 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Only two other players scored for UMF, with Milani Hicks tallying seven points and Nathan Violette adding three off the bench. 

Down by three at halftime, the Bobcats fell behind by six after a Violette three with 17:37 to go in the game. Then Lynch threw down his second dunk of the evening to get the Bobcats going. The dunk started a 11-0 run, culminating with three-pointers from Greenhalgh and sophomore Malik Velmar (Yorktown, Va.) that put Bates up 46-41 with 13:20 remaining.

Ruby made a three on the other end to cut the Bates lead to two. Then Greenhalgh hit back-to-back threes, extending the lead to 52-44. 

The Beavers chipped away and cut the Bates lead to one with 6:30 left in regulation on a Moss layup. The game was a back-and-forth affair for the next few minutes, with Bates keeping UMF at arm's length. Ruby hit another three with 3:38 remaining to trim the Bates lead to 64-62. 

But a pair of Mainers, Gilpin and Coyne, secured the win for Bates. Gilpin hit a three with 3:12 left that put Bates up 67-62. Then Coyne hit a pair of threes to increase the lead to 11. Ruby's seventh made three-pointer of the night came too late for the Beavers, with Bates holding on to win by eight.

The Beavers led by as many as 12 points in the opening 20 minutes of action. A Ruby jumper put UMF up 31-19 with 6:53 to go in the first half. The Bobcats answered with an 8-0 run that included a three that senior captain Max Hummel (Glastonbury, Conn.) banked in to make the score 31-26. Then Hummel made a layup to cut the deficit to three.

Robinson and Gilpin traded three-pointers before Hicks made a layup to put the Beavers up 36-31 with 2:41 remaining. 

But the Bobcats finished the first half with a flourish. Lynch stole a pass and went coast-to-coast, throwing down a thunderous dunk to cut the UMF lead to 36-33 with 29 seconds left. 

Bates visits Trinity this Friday for a crucial NESCAC showdown. Tip is set for 7pm.