BRUNSWICK, Maine – The Bowdoin College men's basketball team held off a furious late rally to defeat the University of Southern Maine on Sunday evening at Morrell Gymnasium, 84-81.
The Polar Bears (6-3), who led by 17 with 6:16 to go, win their fourth consecutive game to finish the first semester. The Huskies (3-6) lose their third-straight contest to enter break.
- The teams traded blows in a back-and-forth opening half. Jayvon Pitts-Young's 11 points led USM to a late lead in the period, but a buzzer-beating lay-in by Bowdoin's Taiga Kagitomi evened the score at 32-32 at the break.
- A Jack Simonds three-pointer sparked an 18-4 Bowdoin run to start the second period as the Polar Bears seemingly put the game away, holding a 50-36 lead midway through the frame.
- Bowdoin posted its largest lead of the contest, 69-52, following a Stephen Ferraro floater with 6:16 on the clock.
- The Huskies caught fire from the field and took advantage of several Bowdoin miscues to close the gap in the final moments. USM hit seven three-pointers in the final six minutes, not including three free throws on a foul from beyond the arc.
- Jayvon Pitts-Young's 30th point of the night on a three-pointer with nine seconds left trimmed Bowdoin's lead to 83-78 and after a Bowdoin turnover on the ensuing inbounds pass, Christian McCue netted a three-pointer from the wing with seven seconds on the clock to cut the lead to 83-81.
- Improbably, an offensive foul on the next Bowdoin inbounds put USM on the line with a chance to tie with three seconds left, but McCue missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity and Hugh O'Neil seized the rebound.
- O'Neil connected on 1-of-2 from the line and a desperation heave by McCue at the buzzer sailed wide as Bowdoin clung to the three-point win.
By The Numbers
- All five Bowdoin starters saw double figures, led by 19 points, ten rebounds and six assists from Jack Simonds.
- Zavier Rucker had 11 points and nine assists for Bowdoin. Hugh O'Neil (16), David Reynolds (15) and Stephen Ferraro (10) all saw double digits for the Polar Bears.
- Jayvon Pitts-Young was outstanding for USM, connecting on 12-18 from the field to end with a game-high 30 points in the loss. Christian McCue had 18 points for the Huskies.
- Bowdoin shot 54% from the field for the game, but went 6-19 from three-point range. USM countered with 12-28 shooting from long distance and ended at 51% for the contest.
- The Polar Bears built their big second-half lead thanks to inside dominance as they owned a 41-23 edge in rebounding.
- Bowdoin will return to action on Sunday, December 30 at Brandeis (2:00 p.m.)
- Southern Maine will play in the Trinity Holiday Invitational on December 30-31, opening against Western New England at 7:00 p.m. on December 30.