LEWISTON — Freshman guard David Omasombo answered the call to come off the bench again and helped steady Bates College’s offense in the first half.

The Lewiston native’s efforts in the backcourt on offense and defense kept the Bobcats on course, allowing Bates to take down Husson University in a fast-paced second half with an 82-73 men’s basketball victory on Tuesday night.

“I was just hungry to play,” Omasombo, who scored five points in that first half, said. “We feed off each other’s energy, so I just came in and wanted to give my teammates the best energy that I could.”

The Bobcats (3-2) threw everything they had at the Eagles (1-3) in the second half, including a wild transition game and a relentless press defense that provided some serious pushback against Husson’s capable offense.

“We just wanted to win,” Omasombo said. “We knew our best offense is in transition and we stuck to that.”

Bates coach Jon Furbush said Bates is missing a couple of key players, and those who stepped up did the job and gave the Bobcats a fighting chance when they needed it.


“David Omasombo came off the bench and did a great job,” Furbush said. “We played UNE. We were up big, but I kind of view that as trust time. Even if we are up 20 or 30 points, you still got to go in and prove that you can run the offense the right way and (Omasombo) did a great job doing that on Sunday (against UNE).

“I went with him today and he came in and gave us an immediate spark defensively, pressured the ball and made a couple of shots, made a few plays and so he just executed at a high level when we needed him to do (it).”

After a first half that ended up being a game of one-upmanship, with both teams trading baskets, Bates headed into halftime with a 34-32 lead and came out in the second half with a transition game that gave the Bobcats the edge. 

“We knew they were going to come out fired (up),” Furbush said. “They are a good team, very well-coached. I think in the first half, they were just missing some shots. They got the same shots in the second half and actually made them.

“So we had to close out a little bit better, more pressure on the ball, but we are a more of an up-tempo team so the more we get up and down, the better we end up being down the stretch. … They made some tough shots. I thought we played some decent defense.” 

The Bobcats opened up on the Eagles and produced a 69-56 lead with 8:15 to go in the game.

Senior guard Steph Baxter scored 14 points in both the first and second halves, played a total of 38 minutes and turned in the game-high 28 points. Sophomore guard Jahmir Primer followed Baxter’s lead and scored 15 points, and guards Stephen Ward and Simon McCormick contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively.

The stubborn Eagles got help from guard Justice Kendall, who scored the team-high 18 points. Scott Lewis had 12 and J. Thomas and Jeremy Moronta each scored 11 points.

“One of the things we said, we’ve got to make sure we battle and fight because we haven’t done that the last couple of games,” Husson coach Warren Caruso said. “I thought right up until the end, we battled and fought. To (Bates’) credit, they played as hard as we did.”

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