Men's Basketball Clinches Home Quarterfinal in Nailbiter Over Tufts

Liam Farley had 14 points, including the go-ahead bucket with under two minutes remaining
Liam Farley had 14 points, including the go-ahead bucket with under two minutes remaining

BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Bowdoin College men's basketball team secured a home NESCAC Quarterfinal game with a 57-54 win over Tufts on Saturday afternoon at Morrell Gymnasium.

The Polar Bears (17-6, 7-3 NESCAC) will be either the second or third seed in the upcoming conference tournament, pending Sunday's result between Amherst and Middlebury. Tufts (13-11, 6-4 NESCAC) will be the fifth seed and will travel to either Bates or Amherst for a first-round game next Saturday. Official game times and pairings will be announced on Sunday.

Tied at 51 apiece with under two minutes to play, Liam Farley's running shot, which resulted in a goaltending call against Tufts, gave Bowdoin the lead for good. The Jumbos had a chance to tie with under a minute to play, but Ryan Spadaford turned the ball over, giving the Polar Bears the ball with 42 seconds to play. Bryan Hurley hit an off-balance jumper in the lane to extend Bowdoin's lead to 55-51 with 12 seconds to go. Tufts quickly pushed the ball downcourt a trimmed the lead to 55-54 on a Tarik Smith three-pointer with six seconds remaining, but Hurley hit a pair of free throws and Tufts could not get off another shot as the Polar Bears clung to victory.

The contest was a back-and-forth affair throughout, with 10 tie scores, including a 26-26 deadlock at halftime, and featured eight lead changes. Neither team had larger than a six-point lead in the entire contest.

Bowdoin's Lucas Hausman did not break any scoring records on Saturday afternoon, but did lead all players with 16 points. Farley had 14 points off the bench for Bowdoin, including four important three-pointers in the opening half. John Swords had 10 points and 15 rebounds for the Polar Bears.

Tom Palleschi and Smith had 14 points apiece for the Jumbos. Palleschi had five rebounds and four blocks for the visitors while Smith knocked down a trio of three-pointers in the game.

Rebounds were even at 41-41 and defenses ruled the day as Bowdoin hit on 39% of their shots and Tufts knocked down just 28%.

Bowdoin will close out its regular season on Monday night when they host Husson in a rescheduled game from January 27 at 7:00 p.m.