The men's basketball team finished the regular season on a high note, winning the final three regular season games and grabbing the fifth seed in the upcoming NESCAC tournament. The Polar Bears, 16-8 (5-4 against NESCAC opponents), will travel to Bates on Saturday and wrestle with the Bobcats.

Head coach Tom Gilbride is delighted with his team's performance.

"I am very pleased with the play of our team this regular season and thrilled that we were able to finish the season by playing some of our best basketball," he said.

Last weekend, the squad edged conference foes Middlebury, 58-56, and Williams, 78-71. Against Middlebury, senior Kyle Petrie led the Bears in scoring, contributing 16 points, nine rebounds, and five assists to the Bears' close victory.

Although Bowdoin controlled the court for most of the game, the Panthers closed the gap in the second half, coming within two points of Bowdoin's tally with one minute remaining. Sophomore Andrew Hippert sealed the victory for the Bears, grabbing a rebound off a Middlebury shot in the last seconds of the game.

The next day, against Middlebury, the Bears prevented a second-half Panther recovery with Petrie once again getting the game high for Bowdoin. Hippert contributed 20 points for the Bears. Junior Kevin Bradley scored 15 points for the Bears.

On Tuesday, the team handily defeated St. Joseph's, 82-74, with five Bowdoin players reaching double digits.

Men's basketball has faced Bates twice this season. Although both contests have ended in defeat for the Polar Bears, the last game was close.

"We lost in a thriller by three points," Gilbride recalls.

Though the Polar Bears will have to cope with hostile, rambunctious fans, they have momentum working in their favor.

The Polar Bears have won their last three games, continuing to outplay and out hustle opposing teams.

Bates, on the other hand, has been on a three-game skid. The Bobcats have lost one-sided games to NESCAC opponents Tufts, Amherst, and Trinity. In those contests, they have managed to shoot a mediocre 42 percent from the floor (including an abysmal 32.7 percent against Amherst).

Much of Bowdoin's success this season can be attributed to the captains' exceptional leadership and a team-oriented approach to the game.

Gilbride sings the praises of the captains. Their guidance and no-nonsense approach to the game has lead Bowdoin to four consecutive playoff appearances and 55 wins. Petrie also tied the school record for game appearances, playing in his 98th contest on Tuesday.

"Nick Ordway '06, Kyle Petrie, and Antwan Phillips '06 have been outstanding leaders and have been essential to the success of our team."

Ordway, Petrie, and Phillips were honored in a ceremony before the St. Joseph's game, the last home game for the seniors.