Blue Jays run away in second half to defeat men's basketball 76-63

Senior Kody Greenhalgh scored a team-high 15 points against the University of Saint Joseph Blue Jays on Thursday, December 19, 2019. (File photo by Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

MIAMI SHORES, Fla. -- The Bates men's basketball team led by one at halftime but the University of Saint Joseph Blue Jays shot 55.6% in the second half, defeating the Bobcats 76-63 Thursday afternoon at the HoopMIA D3 Holiday Shootout.

Senior Kody Greenhalgh (West Warwick, R.I.) paced the Bobcats (5-3) with 15 points and senior Jeff Spellman (Boston, Mass.) added 11 of his own. First-year Omar Sarr (Dakar, Senegal) tallied six points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds. He also blocked a pair of shots but battled foul trouble for the second straight contest.

Three players finished in double figures for the Blue Jays (7-2), led by Jaecee Martin, who tallied a game-high 26 points on 10-12 shooting. Jordan Powell poured in 20 points and Ryan O'Neill added 10. Jalen Samuels came off the bench and tallied eight points with a team-high 10 rebounds.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair, with senior Tom Coyne (Falmouth, Maine) giving Bates a 31-29 lead on a three-pointer with 57 seconds left in the half. Sophomore Kenny Aruwajoye (Owo, Nigeria) followed that with a layup and Bates led by four with six seconds remaining. But Samuels answered quickly with a layup plus a foul, converting a three-point play. 

Bates led 33-32 at halftime and for the first 10 minutes of the second half, the game remained close. Coyne hit a jumper with 10:07 to go in regulation, making the score 48-47 in favor of the Blue Jays.

Over the next three minutes, the Blue Jays went on a 7-0 run before Spellman made a pair of free throws, making the score 55-49. Saint Joseph responded with an 11-0 run, opening up an insurmountable 66-49 lead with 3:42 left.

The Blue Jays shot 55.6% from the field in the second half and 49.2% overall. They did that damage despite only attempting four three-pointers, finishing 1-4 from three-point range. They also made 17-22 from the free throw line. Saint Joseph scored 46 points in the paint, holding Bates to just 30 points in the paint. The game featured seven ties and six lead changes. 

Bates is back in action on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020 when the Bobcats host the University of New England at 7pm.