LEWISTON, Maine – Only up two heading into halftime, No. 22 Amherst men's basketball outscored Bates College 52-40 in the second half to secure their 11th win on the season, 85-71, in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) play Friday night at Alumni Gym.
Tallying their third win on the road, Amherst improves to 11-4 overall and 2-1 in conference while Bates drops their first NESCAC contest, moving to 8-5 (1-1 NESCAC).
Michael Schretter '22 came off the bench and scored 16 points on 8-11 shotting to go along with nine rebounds. He was joined by Fru Che '21 and Garrett Day '21, who scored 16 points each. Che also grabbed nine rebounds and Day hit four threes in five attempts.
First-year Omar Sarr scored 11 points on 5-7 shooting for Bates. He tallied seven rebounds and blocked a season-high six shots. Senior Tom Coyne added 10 points off the bench.
Scoring six of the opening eight points, Sarr led the Bobcats in the early showing of the first half as Bates controlled the lead all the way until the 2:04 mark when Schretter's layup tied it for the first time since the opening tip.
The Bobcats answered with a bucket of their own each time, but Schretter was persistent and eventually hit the go-ahead layup with five seconds remaining to give the Mammoths their first lead of the opening 20 minutes (33-31).
At the break, the Ridgewood, N.J. native led all scorers with 12 points on 6-7 (85.7%) shooting and a team-high five rebounds. Tim McCarthy '21 contributed six points off the bench and two dimes while Grant Robinson '21 had three assists as well.
The Mammoths held a slight advantage in shooting percentage, marking 38.2% from the floor compared to the Bobcats 36.8%.
Bates led 45-39 with 13:42 left in the game. But McCarthy and Day hit back-to-back threes, tying the game at 45. The teams traded buckets and the Bobcats went ahead 53-52 on a Spellman layup with 10:11 remaining.
With 9:46 left, Devonn Allen '22 hit a three to give the Mammoths a 55-53 edge and Amherst never trailed again as the Mammoths outscored Bates 30-18 down the stretch. After going 1-8 from three in the first half, Amherst went 8-13 from deep over the final 20 minutes.
Bobcat Kody Greenhalgh hit the lone three of the night for Bates with 18:35 left in the second half. He dished out a team-high five assists and grabbed four rebounds on the night.
Amherst finished the night shooting 46.4% from the floor and 85.7% from the line, outrebounding the Bobcats 45-39. Tallying eight more assists (20-12), the Mammoths also won the bench-battle with 44 points to Bates' 26.
The Bobcats shot 52.6% from the line and 5.3% from deep, but scored 50 points in the paint and only turned the ball over eight times.
The Purple & White are right back in action tomorrow when they travel to Medford, Mass. to battle Tufts University to conclude the second weekend of NESCAC action with tip-off scheduled for 3:00 PM. Bates hosts Hamilton tomorrow at 3:00 PM in another NESCAC fixture.