BRUNSWICK, Maine – Bryan Hurley nailed the game-winning bucket with eight seconds left in overtime to lift the Bowdoin College men's basketball team to a 61-60 win over Bates on Saturday at Morrell Gymnasium.
The Polar Bears improve to 9-3 (2-1 NESCAC) with their second OT win against the Bobcats this season. Bowdoin also knocked off the Bobcats in overtime, 74-70, in Lewiston on December 6. Bates falls to 6-10 (1-3 NESCAC) with the loss.
Hurley finished with nine points and four assists for the Polar Bears, who were led by 13 points and 11 rebounds from Keegan Pieri. Andrew Madlinger scored 11 while John Swords had 10 points and nine rebounds off the bench for Bowdoin.
Bates was led by 19 points from Luke Matarazzo, who hit five three-pointers in the loss. Adam Philpott had 13 points and five rebounds for the Bobcats.
Matarazzo got things going early for the Bobcats, connecting on a pair of early three-pointers to give the visitors an early seven-point edge. Bowdoin battled back with an 8-0 run, capped by a Jake Donnelly runner to regain the lead. The squads traded the lead nine times in the opening period before a late Polar Bear run seized the halftime advantage. Madlinger sparked the 9-0 surge with a three-pointer and capped it with a buzzer-beating lay-in to give the hosts a 40-30 lead at halftime.
The Bates defense clamped down in the second half, holding Bowdoin to just 25% shooting. Meanwhile, the Bobcats offense came alive and went on a 11-2 run, capped by a Mark Brust lay-in, to erase Bowdoin's halftime lead and tie the game at 45-45 with 12:50 to go. After four scoreless minutes, Bates used a quick 5-0 spurt, ending in an Adam Philpott three-pointer, that gave the visitors at 50-45 lead with under eight minutes to play.
The Bobcats carried their five-point lead under the four minute mark, when Bowdoin's Madlinger nailed a three-pointer that closed the gap to 55-53. After a defensive stop, Pieri nailed a jumper from the elbow to tie the game at 55. Neither team could find a point in the final 2:58 as Matarazzo missed a desperation three-pointer at the end of regulation to send the game to overtime.
Bates carried a two-point lead under the one minute mark of OT and had a chance to extend their lead, but Bryan Hurley stepped in front of a pass and scored a fast break layup to tie the game at 59 with 53 seconds left. Adam Philpott was fouled on Bates' next possession and hit one of two free throws, setting the stage for Hurley's game winner.
Bowdoin took possession down 60-59 with under 30 seconds on the clock. Hurley took control of the ball at the top of the arc and drove to the right side of the lane. The sophomore guard lofted a jumper from the right elbow that swished through the hoop with eight seconds left, giving the hosts a 61-60 lead. Brust attempted to go the length of the court, but was called for an offensive foul with one second on the clock, sealing the win for the Polar Bears.
Bowdoin held a 43-40 edge on the glass and finished shooting 40% from the field. Bates hit on 35% of its shots in the setback.
The Polar Bears will return to action at Maine-Farmington on Tuesday evening. The Bobcats will host Connecticut College next Friday.