Men's basketball ends regular season with win over Bates

Greg Newton '14
Greg Newton '14

Greg Newton '14 scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half and led Hamilton College to a 72-62 win against Bates College in a NESCAC game at Hamilton's Margaret Bundy Scott Field House on Feb. 12.

The Continentals (15-9 overall, 4-6 NESCAC) are the No. 8 seed in the 2012 NESCAC Championship in their inaugural season in the conference. Hamilton travels to Amherst College to take on the nationally ranked No. 6 and top-seeded Lord Jeffs on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 4 p.m.

Bates (11-12, 5-5) is the fifth seed in the championship and will play at No. 4 seed Tufts University on Saturday afternoon at 4. The Bobcats -- losers of three straight -- wrap up the regular season with a non-conference game against Saint Joseph's (Maine) on Tuesday, Feb. 14.

Pat Sullivan '12 and Eric Benvenuti '13 chipped in 13 points apiece for the winners. Hans Schulte '13 posted nine points and nine rebounds off the bench, and Matt Dean '14 handed out three assists.

Mark Brust '13 scored 18 of his game-high 22 points in the second half for Bates. John Squires '12 added 15 points and nine rebounds, and Ed Bogdanovich '13 posted 12 points and eight boards.

The teams combined for 11 ties and five lead changes in the first 25 minutes. The Bobcats scored the first eight points only to have the Continentals roar back and take a 15-14 lead on a Matt Magruder '15 3-pointer with 12:07 left in the half.

Hamilton's largest lead of the first half was six points at 23-17 with 5:35 remaining. Bates scored the next six points to tie the score at 23-23 with 4:24 left. Sean Cunningham '14 made 1 of 2 free throws for the Bobcats with 38 seconds remaining and sent the teams to the locker rooms deadlocked at 30-30.

Neither team led by more than three points the first eight minutes of the second half. After a Squires layup tied the score at 45-all with 15:09 left, the Continentals went on a 14-2 run, and led comfortably the rest of the afternoon.

Peter Kazickas '15 started the run with a jumper with 12:33 remaining. Schulte followed with back-to-back baskets, and after two made free throws by Bates, Sullivan sandwiched two layups around a Benvenuti jumper. Joseph Lin '15 capped the spurt with a steal and layup for a 59-47 lead with 7:29 left. Hamilton's advantage fluctuated between seven and 12 points the rest of the way.

The Continentals shot 57.1 percent from the field in the second half, and made half of their 16 3-point attempts for the game. The Bobcats shot just 32.8 percent from the floor, including 2 -for-15 from beyond the arc.

Bates grabbed 21 offensive rebounds and held a 43-31 advantage on the glass. But the Bobcats shot just 16 of 30 (53.3 percent) at the free-throw line. Bates entered the game at 69.7 percent from the line as a team. Meanwhile, Hamilton went 16-for-19 (84.2 percent) at the charity stripe.

The Continentals have won nine of the 10 meetings between the programs, including the last game on Nov. 22, 2008, as part of Hamilton's tip-off tournament.

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