WORCESTER, Mass. — Marcus Delpeche hit a game-tying three to force overtime but the Bates men’s basketball team fell just short in a 71-70 loss to DeSales Friday night in the WPI Ted Coghlin Memorial Tournament to begin the 2016-2017 season.
Delpeche ’17 (Wilmington, Del.) scored 15 points while twin brother Malcolm Delpeche ’17 (Wilmington, Del.) led the Bobcats with 16 points. They each grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.
The Bates defense executed a complete 180 after struggling in the first half. DeSales (2-0) put up 48 points in the first half to take a 48-39 lead into halftime. But the Bobcats held them to just 15 points in the second half of action.
The Bobcats (0-1) took a 60-59 lead with 1:34 to go in regulation on a Marcus Delpeche layup. But Joseph Lococo responded with a jumper for DeSales to put the Bulldogs up 61-60 with 1:05 remaining. Lococo led all scorers with 21 points on 6-14 shooting.
A Luke Connaghan layup extended the DeSales lead to 63-60 with just 14 seconds left in the second half. But senior Jerome Darling (Hartford, Conn.) found Marcus Delpeche for an improbable three-pointer from the top of the key to tie the game at the buzzer. The ball went all the way around the rim before dropping in the bucket. Friday’s game-tying three is the first three-pointer made by the senior big man in his college career.
In overtime, the teams traded points until a Brandon Briody jumper put the Bulldogs ahead for good with 1:26 remaining in the extra period. Lococo extended the lead to 71-67 with a layup with 13 seconds to go.
But the Bobcats showed their never-say-die attitude yet again thanks to a made three-pointer from junior Shawn Strickland (Middletown, Conn.) with eight seconds left in overtime, cutting the deficit to 71-70.
Bates got one more chance but Strickland’s three at the buzzer was off the mark and the Bulldogs held on to the victory.
Both teams came out strong on offense in the first half, with DeSales shooting 53.1 percent from the field and Bates shooting 45.2 percent over the course of the first 20 minutes.
The Bobcats found themselves down 46-32 with just over a minute to go in the first half. But they finished the half on a 7-2 run. Malcolm Delpeche made a layup with 50 seconds left and sophomore Max Hummel (Glastonbury, Conn.) knocked down a three with 46 seconds to go. Hummel came off the bench to score a career-high 13 points on 4-8 shooting, including 3-6 from three-point land.
The teams traded buckets over the final 28 seconds and Bates went into the half trailing 48-39.
The second half proved to be a defensive struggle with DeSales’ shooting percentage in the half plummeting to 17.9 percent and Bates only making 28.1 percent of their shots over the final 20 minutes of action.
With 7:40 left the game, Hummel gave Bates their first lead since 14:41 to go in the first half with another three-pointer.
But the 56-55 advantage did not last long as the Bulldogs responded with a quick 4-0 run.
The Delpeche twins combined for five blocks while Darling chipped in 10 points, seven rebounds and a team-high three assists.
Kuity Slanger (11 points, 10 rebounds) tallied a double-double for DeSales.