Big Second Half Leads Men's Basketball Over Williams in NESCAC Quarterfinals

John Swords went 10-10 from the field on Saturday vs. Williams
John Swords went 10-10 from the field on Saturday vs. Williams

BRUNSWICK, Maine - Lucas Hausman scored 25 of his game-high 37 points in the second half to lead the Bowdoin College men's basketball team to a 87-74 win over Williams in the quarterfinals of the New England Small College Athletic Conference tournament Saturday at Morrell Gymnasium.

The second-seeded Polar Bears improve to 18-7 and advance to next Saturday's semifinals against Amherst College at Trinity. The other semifinal will feature Wesleyan and the host Bantams. Williams ends it season with a record of 15-10.

Hausman was outstanding in the second half, and finished with a game-high 37 points, two shy of the NESCAC Tournament record. John Swords tied a tournament record with a 10-10 performance from the field, scoring 23 points to go with 13 rebounds and three blocks. Bryan Hurley also saw double figures with 12 points, seven assists, six rebounds and four assists.

Hayden Rooke-Ley finished with a team-high 28 points for the Ephs, knocking down seven three-pointers. Ryan Kilcullen had 16 points while Mike Greenman added 12 for Williams. Daniel Wohl had eight points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for the Ephs.

Williams sprinted to a halftime lead thanks to a three-point barrage, headed by Rooke-Ley, who knocked down six first-half trifecta. John Swords kept Bowdoin within shouting distance thanks to his work around the basket. The Polar Bear center scored 16 points on perfect 8-8 shooting, including five dunks. But the Ephs were able to claim a seven-point lead, 44-37, thanks to 21 points from Rooke-Ley at the break.

Bowdoin jumped right back into the contest out of the half, using a 10-0 run out of intermission, sparked by six points from Hausman, and took the lead on a Swords jumper, 45-44, with 17:30 left in the game. The teams traded buckets for the next four minutes and as the clock ran under 13 minutes to play the squads were deadlocked at 56-56.

Hausman hit a lay-in to spark a decisive 11-0 run for the Polar Bears, which ended on a hoop-and-harm from Hurley to give the hosts a 67-56 lead with 7:15 to go. The Bowdoin defense clamped down, holding Williams scoreless for over six minutes of game time to key the surge. Williams was able to cut the lead to six points on two occasions with under three minutes to play, but Bowdoin answered with buckets each time to keep the Ephs at bay.

Bowdoin finished at 50.9% shooting for the contest after a red-hot 59% from the field in the second period. Williams ended at 39% for the contest. The Polar Bears held a dominating 41-29 edge on the glass and took advantage of foul trouble for the Ephs, connecting on 24-32 from the free throw line.