|Tufts University||Bates College|
LEWISTON, Maine — Marcus Delpeche scored a game-high 28 points on 10 of 16 shooting and Jerome Darling added a career-high 21 points in an impressive 84-72 win for the Bates men’s basketball team over No. 4 nationally ranked Tufts University Saturday afternoon at Alumni Gymnasium.
With the win, the Bobcats (14-6, 4-3 NESCAC) hand the Jumbos (16-3, 6-1 NESCAC) their first conference loss of the season.
“Having the number four ranked team in our gym, we knew we had to come to play,” Delpeche ’17 (Wilmington, Del.) said. “We want this victory to be a turning point in the season for us with four games left.”
Delpeche finished with a double-double thanks to his team-high 11 rebounds.
Bates shot the ball well from outside, hitting 10 of 20 three-point shots. Darling ’17 (Hartford, Conn.) made a game-high four threes, one fewer than Tufts had as a team. The Jumbos only shot 5-27 (18.5%) from three.
“He (Darling) is one of the fastest people I’ve seen cutting off a screen and I’m always going to pass him the ball when he calls my name,” Delpeche said. “I trust that he’s going to knock down that three. I love it.”
Darling and Delpeche also made their free throws, with Darling sinking nine of 10 from the line and Marcus hitting eight of 10.
Bates as a team hit 18 of 22 free throws (81.8%) compared to Tufts’ 15 of 28 (53.6%) effort from the line.
Bates took the lead for good in the first half when Marcus Delpeche made a layup with 5:23 remaining to put the Bobcats up 28-26. It was the 12th lead change in the game to that point, but there would be no more.
The layup started a personal 7-0 run for Delpeche that put the Bobcats up 33-26 before the Jumbos’ Ben Engvall hit a three with 2:53 left to cut the Bates lead to 33-29.
But the Bobcats continued to drill threes with sophomore Max Hummel (Glastonbury, Conn.) hitting one from the corner and Darling make one under a minute later to push the lead to 39-30.
Bates ended the first half up 39-31. Tufts got no closer than to within seven points of the Bobcats in the second half.
With Bates up 39-32 early in the second half, Darling drilled back-to-back threes, bringing the crowd at Alumni Gym to their feet and extending the lead to 45-33.
The Bobcats led 54-41 after senior Quin Leary (Auburn, Maine) hit a jumper with 14:20 to go in the game. Leary tallied nine points in 16 minutes off the bench. Then on the ensuing Tufts possession, first-year Nick Gilpin (Hampden, Maine) stole the ball and took it coast-to-coast for a thunderous dunk. Gilpin scored nine points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out a team-high five assists.
With 11:58 remaining, first-year Jeff Spellman (Boston, Mass.) nailed a three to give the Bobcats an 18-point lead, their biggest of the game. Spellman poured in 10 points off the bench on 4-5 shooting to go along with five rebounds and three assists.
The 61-43 advantage got chopped down to 61-49 before Gilpin made a layup with 9:55 to go.
Senior Malcolm Delpeche (Wilmington, Del.) had a tough game (four points on 2-10 shooting) due to foul trouble but he got a highlight reel moment with 8:08 left in the contest. Leading 65-53, Bates forced a turnover when Malcolm Delpeche intercepted a pass. He got the ball to Gilpin on the fast break and Gilpin lobbed it up for Malcolm who slammed it home, causing Alumni Gym to once again erupt in excitement.
With 6:47 left, the Jumbos’ Vincent Pace made a jumper to trim the Bobcat advantage to 67-58. But Marcus Delpeche made a jumper and Darling sank two free throws to put Bates up 13 with 5:21 to go.
The last time Tufts got to within single digits came with 1:32 left in regulation. Pace hit a three to make the score 77-70 in favor of Bates.
Darling and Marcus Delpeche combined to make seven free throws down the stretch, putting Tufts away for good.
Pace and Tarik Smith led Tufts with 19 points apiece. Everett Dayton added 10 points of his own. Meanwhile Ben Engvall scored nine points and hauled in a game-high 12 rebounds.