WATERVILLE — Things went from bad to worse for the Colby College men’s basketball team in the second half of Saturday afternoon’s game against Bates. Then things went from worse to . . . what comes after worse?

The Mules went more than 10 minutes without a point in the second half, as the Bobcats played tough defense and pulled away with a 63-36 win at Wadsworth Gymnasium.

“We were just great on defense, talking out everything,” Bates (5-2) junior center Ed Bogdanovich said. “I think that’s been our weakness lately, and tonight we made it our strength, turned our defense into offense.”

Colby (3-5) shot just 26.5 percent (13 for 49) from the field, including 5 for 17 from 3-point range. The Mules didn’t fare much better at the line, sinking 5 of 12 free throws.

“I think we shot the ball pretty well most of the year. We certainly spent a lot of time in practice working on getting our shot count up,” Colby coach Damien Strahorn said. “I think we had some chances around the rim. Bates plays a physical game, and certainly, as you move into the (New England Small College Athletic Conference) play, you need to be ready to play against that next level of physicality, and that’s where we need to get to. Unfortunately, we weren’t there today.”

Bates outrebounded Colby, 49-29, and the Bobcats’ big men controlled the game. Bogdanovich scored a game-high 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, and John Squires added 11 points and 10 boards.

“Being able to control the interior paint is obviously very important, but I think we’ve done a better job up until this recent stretch with Bowdoin yesterday and today Bates. It’s something we’ll want to correct,” Strahorn said.

Bates took the lead for good just four minutes into the game, when Bogdanovich hit a shot to give the Bobcats a 4-3 lead. Bates closed the first half with a 19-6 run to take a 35-16 lead into the break.

Colby’s shooting woes intensified early in the second half. After Shane Rogers hit a 3-pointer for the Mules with 17:15 to play, Colby did not score again until Connor O’Neil hit a three with 6:55 remaining. Bates scored 17 points over that stretch, pushing its lead to 57-21.

Colby senior guard Ben Foreman came into the game averaging a team-high 19.7 points per game, but was held scoreless.

“The guards did a great job, Luke Matarazzo and Mark Brust, putting a ton of ball pressure on (Foreman) so he couldn’t get that quick release off,” Bogdanovich said.

O’Neil led Colby with 12 points.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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