Bates College’s Nick Lynch goes up for a basket during Sunday afternoon’s game at Bates in Lewiston. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)
LEWISTON — Brandeis’ Collin Sawyer didn’t call “bank” before launching his buzzer-beating 3-pointer to defeat Bates, 76-73, on Sunday.
After all, he’d already established a pattern.
With just 0.7 seconds left and starting on the right wing, Sawyer curled around the top of the key off a pair of screens, took the inbounds pass from Corey Sherman on the left side and fired up a prayer. For the third time Sunday, he hit the glass on a 3 and then found the net.
“I tried to go to the bank earlier in the game and it worked, so I figured I’d go again,” Sawyer, a sophomore swingman, said.
Bates (7-4) forced the final play when Jeff Spellman drove down the right side of the lane for a layup that tied it at 73 with 2.8 seconds to go. Brandeis (3-6) got the ball to half court and called time out with just enough time left.
“Coach (Brian Meehan) set up a backdoor play for Latye (Workman),” Sawyer said. “I was going to come off the top and if I was open they would get me the ball. Corey found me with a bounce pass and I hit the shot.”
“We’ve seen that alley-oop play and I thought we defended that well,” Bates coach Jon Furbush said. “I have to watch the film, but it looked like they just got that one guy loose. It’s still a tough shot.”
“I think we lost the game in the first few minutes,” he added. “Everything gets magnified in the last few minutes but I thought we lost that game early.”
Bates’ Tom Coyne led all scorers with 24 points, many of those coming as he led the Bobcats back from an early 14-point deficit. Spellman added 17 points.
Lawrence Sabir and Chandler Jones led Brandeis with 18 points apiece.
The Bobcats struggled from the perimeter early (1-for-9 on 3-pointers in the first half) while the Judges established mismatches inside, then started firing from the perimeter to build a 23-9 lead.
“Offensively, our cuts were slow. We were very deliberate,” Furbush said. “We just weren’t going at the same pace we were a couple of days ago (in a 78-75 win over Babson).”
Led by Coyne, Bates began attacking the hoop and whittled the deficit to 32-23 at halftime, then started heating up from the perimeter in the second half.
“Early on, they just weren’t shooting the ball well,” Meehan said. “Sometimes you can get fooled and go back and look at the tape and see they got a lot of open shots. But then we did get away from what we were doing (offensively) and just started standing around and guys started going one-on-one.”
Bates found the range from the perimeter in the second half (7-for-15 and 56 percent overall). Back-to-back 3-pointers by Max Hummel (13 points off the bench) gave the Bobcats their first lead since 3-0 at 49-48 with 10:06 left.
They eventually led by as much as eight as Hummel banked a jumper, Spellman drilled a 10-footer and Coyne completed a three-point play to make it 60-52 with 6:33 left.
Hummel’s third try of the half made it 66-59 with 3:48 left. But four different Judges scored during a 12-0 run to lead 71-66 with 2:22 remaining.
“Late in the game, I thought we executed pretty well,” Meehan said. “The last few possessions, we actually did exactly what we wanted to do, and that’s not always the case. We’re playing a lot of freshmen.”
Bates battled back to tie it with a Coyne 3-pointer over two defenders from the top of the key and a Spellman layup with 1:19 to go. Both teams missed on their subsequent possessions before Sabir made it 73-71 Judges with a strong drive to the hoop with 9.2 seconds to go.
Bates College’s Nick Gilpin goes up for a basket during Sunday afternoon’s game at Bates in Lewiston. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)
Bates College’s Nick Gilpin goes for a layup as Brandeis University’s Chandler Jones plays defense during Sunday afternoon’s game at Bates in Lewiston. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)
Bates College’s Tom Coyne pushes past Brandeis University’s Eric D’Aguanno as he heads for the basket during Sunday afternoon’s game at Bates College in Lewiston. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)
Bates College’s Tom Coyne shoots the ball past Brandeis University’s Collin Sawyer during Sunday afternoon’s game at Bates in Lewiston. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)