LEWISTON, Maine — UMaine-Farmington made 10 of 16 three-pointers, including 7 of 10 in the second half, as the Beavers defeated host Bates College 72-66 in non-conference men's basketball action on Monday night at Alumni Gymnasium.
Ben Johnson scored 18 points with 13 rebounds to lead four Beavers in double figures. Yusuf Iman dished out 11 assists for UMF (5-1), while Nate Carson added 17 points, including 12 in the second half, all on clutch 3-pointers over the final 11 minutes. Garrett Clemmer scored 15 points and Andrew Dickey added 12. UMF's starters accounted for 62 of the Beavers' 66 points.
After sophomore Graham Safford's (Hampden, Maine) three-pointer gave Bates (2-4) a 44-35 lead with 17:58 to go in the game, UMF outscored Bates 37-22. Clemmer hit threes at the 15:10 and 11:58 marks, the latter cutting Bates' lead to 48-47. Carson then made his first of four threes over the final 11 minutes to give UMF its first lead of the second half, at 50-48.
Safford answered with his third three of the night, then made a free throw on Bates' next trip down for a 53-50 Bates lead. But after Carson fed Johnson down low for a layup, the 6-foot-6 forward drilled his second three at the 8:02 mark to give UMF a 55-53 lead. Bates senior Mark Brust (Duxbury, Mass.) tied the game for the last time at 55-55, putting back his own miss, but Carson hit again from the left wing on a cross-court feed from Iman to give UMF the lead for good at 58-55 with 7:19 to play.
A three by Matarazzo at the 4:26 mark closed the gap to 62-60, but Iman found Dickey for a three to answer. Bates junior Derek Murphy (Lowell, Mass.) closed it back to two on Bates' next trip down with a three of his own.
Carson missed a three at 1:37 and Safford made a layup at the other end to make it 67-66 UMF with 1:30 to go, but as the clock dipped under the 1:00 mark, Carson connected on his final dagger on another Iman feed for a 70-66 lead. Bates was then forced to foul, but had only one team foul to that point. After three fouls in three seconds, Carson found Clemmer for a breakaway layup to make it 72-66 with 32 seconds to go, and the Bobcats missed its final four shot attempts in the final half-minute.
The first half featured seven lead changes. UMF's hot shooting really began with Carson's game-opening three, as the Beavers shot 50% from the floor and from three-point land in the opening period. Johnson scored a team-high 10 points in the first half.
Junior Sean Cunningham (Amherst, Mass.) scored 10 of his career-high 13 points on the night in the first half, making all five of his field goal attempts in the opening period, while Brust scored 10 of his 12 points in the first period.
Safford tied for the team lead with 13 points and tied junior Luke Matarazzo (Shelton, Conn.) for the team lead in assists with five. Senior Ed Bogdanovich (Portland, Maine) added eight points with a team-high 10 rebounds and two blocked shots