There were low murmurs of panic after the two tough NESCAC losses last week. But the men’s team quickly put any panic to rest as they answered with a two game winning streak starting with Salem State.
Tom Coyne ‘20 had a career high 25 points and led the team in scoring. Malcolm Delpeche ‘17 was all over the court, dropping 19 points, grabbing nine rebounds, and blocking three shots. Jeff Spellman ‘20 helped out by adding 14 points coming off the bench. Drew Healy scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Vikings and multiple players were in double figures for points coming off the bench for Salem State.
The first half was tight, with four lead changes and and six ties. Coyne started with the hot hand in the first half, scoring a game high 12 points and shooting five of six from the field and knocking down two threes. The Bobcats looked good off the glass, grabbing 22 rebounds in the first half out rebounding the Vikings by five. Bates was up at the half 37-36.
In the second half, coming off the bench Coyne once again hit five of six from the field. Bates would go up as much as 12 points but the Vikings would not go away, cutting the deficit to 82-73. But Bates would not be fazed as Marcus Delpeche ‘17 aired out a full court pass to his brother for the dunk to put them back up to a double digit lead with 1:31 left. The shooters came out to play against Salem State, where Bates had one of their best nights of the season from the field, shooting 57 percent.
On Saturday January 29 Bates hosted No. 4 ranked Tufts University where they got a big and much needed win, beating the Jumbos 84-72. Marcus Delpeche would go on to notch another double-double and score a game high 28 points. He also led the team in rebounding with 11. Darling had the hot hand too as he scored a career high 21 points. Quin Leary ‘17 and Spellman would give support off the bench dropping nine and 10 points, respectively. Tufts’ Tarik Smith and Vincent Pace would lead Tufts in points with 19 each.
It was another tightly contested first half, with 12 lead changes but Bates refused to take their foot off the gas. They would take the lead for good when Marcus made a shot to put them up 28-25 with 5:23 left in the first half. With a personal 7-0 run by Marcus, showing his dominance in the paint, and a couple threes made by Darling and Max Hummel ‘19, the Bobcats would be up at half 39-31.
Darling came out swinging in the second half, putting up back-to-back threes to set the tone in Alumni Gym. At the 11:58 mark, Spellman hit a three to give the Bobcats their biggest lead of the night, an 18-point lead.
Tufts would not back down though, cutting the deficit 61-49 with 9:55 to go in the game. They would eventually cut the lead down to single digits, 77-70 with 1:32 left but the Bobcats would seal the deal by converting their free throws down the stretch. Thiw was a big boost of confidence for the Bobcats as late free throw shots has plagued them this season. Darling and Marcus Delpeche would combine for seven made free throws down the stretch. Bates shot the ball well from beyond the arc throughout the game, making 10 of 20 attempts from the three whereas Tufts shot only 5 of 27 from downtown.
This was a major win for Bates in front of a raucous crowd, as they handed Tufts their first NESCAC loss of the season. They will look to continue their stride when they host Maine-Farmington in a non-conference matchup this Tuesday at 5:30 in Alumni Gym.