BRUNSWICK, Maine - Senior John Swords recorded a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Bowdoin College men's basketball team to a 76-61 win over Southern Maine on Sunday evening.
The Polar Bears earn their first victory of the calendar year and improve to 7-3 on the season. Southern Maine falls to 3-8 this year.
John Swords finished 7-8 from the field and grabbed six offensive and defensive boards in the win. He was one of four Polar Bears in double figures, including Bryan Hurley, who totaled 17 with eight boards and six assists. Lucas Hausman had 14 and Matt Palecki posted 12 for Bowdoin.
The loss ruined a fantastic performance by Southern Maine's Jacob Littlefield, who posted a game-high 23 points. Zach Leal was the next leading scorer for the Huskies with eight points.
The visitors jumped ahead 15-9 in the early going thanks to a pair of three-pointers from Cole Libby and Littlefield, but Bowdoin battled back to tie the game at 19 apiece. The Polar Bears closed the half on a 9-4 spurt, capped by a driving Hurley lay-in, to take a 36-31 lead at the break.
Swords took over in the opening minutes of the second half, scoring eight early points to spark a 10-2 Bowdoin surge that extended the lead to 12 points. The Huskies stayed within striking distance and whittled the lead down to just four points, 55-51, following five straight points from Alex Fraser, but the Polar Bears answered with a 7-0 spurt that pushed the lead back to double figures with under five minutes to play.
The Polar Bears shot 50% from the field in the victory while holding USM to just 39.7%. The Polar Bears owned a 42-29 edge in rebounding and, thanks in great part to Swords, scored 42 points in the paint to seal the victory.
Bowdoin will return to action at Bridgewater State on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. Southern Maine will host Salem State Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m.