Last night at halftime, the Bowdoin Men's Basketball Team still had a chance of keeping its three-game winning streak alive.
Trailing by five in the 39-44 game against Bates, the Polar Bears worked to close the gap in the second half, getting the game down to three points. But after battling it out for the remainder of the matchup, the team fell to the Bobcats, 85-66.
With the victory, Bates improved to 6-0. While Bowdoin dropped to 3-2. Bowdoin next faces Boston Baptist at the Maine-Presque Isle Tournament on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.
Bates' defense proved to be too much for the Polar Bears in the second half. After shooting 50 percent both from the floor and from three-point range, Bowdoin's offense could not muster the same offensive outburst in the second half.
The Bates defense held Bowdoin to 27 points in the second half, holding the Bears to a paltry 32 percent shooting overall and 18 percent from behind the arc.
Bates held down Bowdoin's top scorers, as well. Kyle Petrie '06 managed only 13 points. Kevin Bradley '07 scored 15, albeit on 4-11 shooting.
Meanwhile, Bates continued its first half offensive output. Three players Zak Ray, Rob Stockwell, and Jon Furbush for Bates finished with 20 or more points.
The edge in rebounding went to Bates as well, 53 to 29. Big man Mark Yakavonis '05 grabbed only three rebounds in the loss, a season low.
The disappointing loss ended Bowdoin's impressive three-game win streak, a stretch in which Bowdoin won each game by at least 10 points.
However, the men have won their games over some fairly weak competition. Their streak came against the University of Maine at Fort Kent, the University of Southern Maine, and the University of New England, teams with a combined 5-9 record overall. Moreover, their one loss, to Lasell, has been the Lasers only victory this year. Thus, the game against Bates represented the first real challenge for the Polar Bears.
After dropping their first game of the year to Lasell, the Bears next matched up against UMaine-Fort Kent. Facing a six-point deficit at halftime, the team regrouped and outscored Fort Kent by 17 in the second half en route to an 84-75 win.
After allowing Maine to shoot 55 percent from the floor in the first half, the Bears dug in and played tough defense in the second, allowing only a third of the Fort Kent shots to fall in the second. In addition, the Bears stepped up their own offensive game, scoring their 53 second-half points on 57 percent shooting.
Andrew Hippert led the team with 23 points, shooting 3-6 from behind the arc. Junior Kyle Petrie scored 17 points in the victory, while Mark Yakavonis collected 12 rebounds to add to his nine points.
Petrie led the Polar Bears to their 78-61 victory over the University of New England, scoring 18 points on 7-18 shooting from the floor, including 4-6 from three-point range. Yakavonis chipped in 12 points and a team-high 17 rebounds. Also contributing greatly was Bradley, whose perfect performance from the charity stripe led to 15 points. Despite being outshot by UNE percentage-wise, Bowdoin managed to dominate the boards, collecting 51 rebounds to UNE's 38, supplying the edge to win the game.
Bowdoin shot much better in its victory over USM. In a contest where both teams displayed good offensive games, turnovers pushed Bowdoin over USM. The nine Bowdoin steals represented a great portion of the 17 turnovers committed by USM. Petrie, Andrew Hippert, and Kevin Bradley scored scored 18 points apiece to capture top-scoring honors for the Polar Bears. Yakavonis shot an impressive 6-7 from the floor and added 11 rebounds to his 12 points. Mike Francoeur and Jason Levecque each scored 17 points for USM in a loss cause.
Even with its strong opening record, Bowdoin is currently ranked fifth in the NESCAC standings.
The next home matchup for the Bears is a NESCAC showdown against Colby on December 11.