FARMINGTON, Maine -- The University of Maine at Farmington overcame an 18-point deficit to knock off Bates College 80-73 in non-conference men's basketball action tonight in Dearborn Gymnasium.
The Beavers upped their record to 13-8 with a trip to Lyndon State College for a North Atlantic Conference contest on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The win snapped a six-game skid for UMF against Bates, dating back to 2004. The Bobcats dropped to 11-10 and are scheduled to visit Rhode Island College Thursday for a 7 p.m. game.
Kevin Leary (Manchester, Maine) scored 14 second-half points and Ben Johnson (Manchester, Maine) added 12 of his game-high 20 points after intermission as the Beavers battled back from a 45-27 hole with 18:27 left to go in the game. UMF shot 63.0 percent (17-27) in the second half, including 70 percent (7-10) from 3-point range.
Johnson also grabbed nine rebounds for the Beavers, while Leary finished with 17 points. Joe McCloskey (Howland, Maine) pitched in with 13 points in the win with Yusuf Iman (Auburn, Maine) providing 11 points and Dan Kane (Bradford, Maine) handing out seven assists.
Ed Bogdanovich (Portland, Maine) tallied 14 points for the Bobcats with Mark Brust (Duxbury, Mass.) pitching in 11 points and nine boards and Luke Matarazzo (Shelton, Conn.) chipping in 10 points and seven assists. John Squires (Swampscott, Mass.) supplied 10 first-half points and 10 rebounds as Bates got out to a 39-24 halftime lead.
After a Leary three opened the scoring, Squires scored six points to guide the Bobcats on a 15-0 run with a pair of Sean Cunnigham (Amherst, Mass.) free throws making it 15-3 with 12:35 until intermission. UMF knocked the lead down to 27-20, Reid Christian (Pownal, Maine) and Matarazzo helped the Bobcats close the final 5:03 of the half with a 12-4 stretch to take a 39-24 lead.
Bogdanovich hit a basket with 18:27 left in the game to give the Bobcats, but the hosts, who misfired on nine of 10 threes in the opening half, got hot with a pair of Leary 3-pointers sparking a 15-0 run for UMF. McCloskey made a jumper with 13:40 to play to cut the Bates lead down to 45-42.
Pet Sumner (Cramerton, N.C.) drilled a trey with 10:27 remaining to give UMF its first lead since 3-0 with 10:27 to go. After a Bogdanovich bucket, Johnson tallied six points to spearhead a 14-4 stretch for the Beavers as they regained and expanded their lead to 67-58 of a pair of Sumner free throws with 4:02 left to play.
Leary buried a 3-pointer with 2:14 to go to give the Beavers their largest advantage at 72-61. Securing the win wasn't easy for UMF as the Bobcats were able to trim the Beavers' lead down to five points on two occasions down the stretch, but UMF did enough from the foul line (8-14) to complete the comeback with an 80-73 win.