November 21, 2004

BATES MEN WIN BRANDEIS TIP-OFF TOURNAMENT

WALTHAM, Mass. - Bates College sophomore guard Zak Ray (Bangor, Maine) led his team with 15 points and nine rebounds today en route to MVP honors as the Bobcats defeated Colby-Sawyer College, 68-61, in the championship game of the Brandeis University Tip-Off Tournament. In the consolation game, the host Judges defeated visiting Mount Ida College, 98-61, to pick up their first win of the season.

Bates (2-0) never trailed in the game as the Bobcats opened the contest with a 20-6 run over the first 7:48. Ray had five points and two assists in the opening stretch, while senior Brian Gerrity (Augusta, Maine) also had five points. After missing 11 of their first 13 shots, Colby-Sawyer (1-1) eventually got the lead to within nine points but trailed by 11 at halftime, 34-23. As cold as they were at the start of the first half, the Chargers opened the second half by making eight-of-10 over the first seven minutes, cutting the lead to 42-40 on a lay-up by junior T.J. Putnam (Hodgedon, Maine). Bates answered with eight unanswered points of their own, but Colby-Sawyer answered again, getting to within one at 58-57 on senior Chris Condon's (Reading, Mass.) lay-in with 4:14 on the clock. Bates rookie Bryan Wholey (Marshfield, Mass.) hit back-to-back 3-pointers on the Bobcats' next two possessions, however, to stick a dagger in the Chargers.

In addition to Ray, Bates got double-figure performances from Wholey and senior Elliott Linsley (Murrieta, Calif.), who also had two blocks and two steals to lead the Bobcats. Condon finished with a game-high 20 points on six-of-15 shooting, while junior Andrew St. Clair (Pittsfield, Maine) had 17 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, including five on the offensive boards.

In the consolation game, Brandeis (1-1) fell behind after Mount Ida (0-2) hit a pair of free throws, but the Judges went on a 9-0 run and never looked back. The hosts took a 48-31 lead into the locker room at halftime, then opened the second stanza on a 24-5 run that put the game away. Every active player on the Brandeis roster but one scored a point as the Judges outshot the Mustangs, 43.6 percent to 23.1 percent and outrebounded the visitors by 30, 73-43.

Brandeis was paced by senior Bryan Lambert's (Auburn, Maine) second double-double in as many games, with 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Rookie Rocco Toppi (Portland, Maine) added 14 points, while classmate Florian Rexhepi (Skopje, Macedonia) had 13 points and four assists. First-year Steve DeLuca (Merrimack, N.H.) added 11 points, while rookie guard Kwame Graves-Fulgham (Amherst, Mass.) had 10 assists and just one turnover.

For Mount Ida, rookie guard Rob Bartlett (W. Bridgewater, Mass.) had 11 points, including three 3-pointers, while sophomore forward Curtis Gadles (Pembroke, Mass.) had 10. Senior forward Calvin Conyers (Englewood, N.J.) pulled down 10 rebounds.

In addition to Ray as the tournament MVP, the All-Tournament team consisted of BatesB Gerrity, Condon and St. Clair of Colby-Sawyer, Graves-Fulgham of Brandeis and Andreas Vasiliu (Newton, Mass.) of Mount Ida.