GORHAM — On a night when it was tough to get in a rhythm due to 53 fouls, Bowdoin’s Stephen Ferraro got in a groove.

Ferraro sparked Bowdoin with 11 of his 16 points in the second half to help the Polar Bears secure an 84-72 victory over the University of Southern Maine in men’s basketball at Hill Gymnasium.

The Polar Bears improved to 5-0, which includes a win over Babson, the NCAA Division III defending national champions, and a school record for points in a 120-93 triumph over the University of New England.

On six Bowdoin possessions early in the second half, Ferraro, a reserve guard, scored six points on two drives and two free throws, getting to the line on three occasions.

His spurt helped Bowdoin stretch its lead to double digits. It dipped to eight points, 55-47, on the possession after he came out, but a Hugh O’Neil slam from a feed from Jack Simonds of Falmouth on a fast break got it back to double digits.

“Things just opened up for me,” Ferraro said. “At halftime Coach talked about attacking (USM) because there were open lanes. It opened up and I took what they gave me.”

It was a strong game for the Bowdoin bench as David Reynolds tied Ferraro with a team-high 16 points and Sam Grad chipped in with eight points and eight rebounds. Simonds, the team’s leading scorer and starting forward, had 11 points and a team-high nine rebounds.

“Stephen is a tough competitor,” Polar Bears Coach Tim Gilbride said. “When he comes off the bench into the game he gives us an edge and we definitely needed it tonight.

“We have a nice mix of players and a lot of depth which is nice when it’s not going well for the starters.”

The Huskies (1-5), who have dropped five straight after a season-opening win over UNE, were paced by Hampden’s Christian McCue and Auburn’s Donne Agossou with 18 points apiece.

McCue and Agossou are two of USM’s three seniors.

“We’re a young team and they are going to make mistakes,” Huskies Coach Karl Henrikson said. “They’re going to make mistakes defensively, allowing easy penetration and offensively with many moving screens tonight.”

The Huskies battled throughout the second half as they cut 12- and 13-point deficits to 10, and finally trimming it to nine points, 72-63, on an Agossou free throw with 2:59 left.

The Polar Bears took away momentum USM had 30 seconds later on a 3-pointer by Reynolds, after offensive rebounds by Simonds and Grad. It pushed the Polar Bears’ lead to 12 points.

With a little more than a minute remaining Grad secured an offensive rebound of a missed Ferraro free throw, leading to a basket down low by Jack Bors for a 78-65 advantage.

“We have great chemistry on and off the court,” Ferraro said. “We trust each other on the court and everyone contributes in different ways.”

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