The road has not been a kind place for Bates basketball this season. After a disappointing weekend against Connecticut College and Wesleyan, the Bobcats are 1-5 in road matchups. At 9-9 overall and eighth in the NESCAC with a 2-4 conference record, the team is in dire need of some performances where all elements of their game, from three-point accuracy, to free throws, to defensive intensity, are at peak level.
Friday night’s 73-62 defeat to Connecticut College was a microcosm of this season; moments of great play came before an offensive onslaught from the opposition in the second half, and an inability to fully recover from their earlier lapses. On this occasion, Bates led 28-23, but the Camels’ offense dominated after the break, scoring 50 points on 57.7% shooting after halftime. Senior Mike Boornazian topped the Bobcats with 15 points, spot on his season average of 14.9 points per game, which is good for seventh in the NESCAC. Sophomore point guard Shawn Strickland posted 12 points and seven assists. Strickland has distributed the ball well for the Bobcats this season; he’s sixth in the conference with 3.9 assists per game, plus he has a decent 2.1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Wesleyan didn’t wait until the second half to catch fire; from the opening tip, the Cardinals were lethal from long range, nailing 13 of 23 three-point attempts. Despite an even second half that Bates actually edged 41-40, the Bobcats never managed to significantly cut into Wesleyan’s 42-26 halftime advantage. Malcolm Delpeche, who is fifth in the NESCAC in blocks per game (1.2) and ninth in rebounds (7.1), had a strong game, hauling nine rebounds and notching 11 points. Boornazian again led the team with 19 points, although 12 came from the free throw line.
Bates has the week off heading into a crucial game at Tufts on Saturday. Then, after a non-conference tilt versus UMaine Farmington on Tuesday, the Bobcats’ six-game stretch on the road will be finally, mercifully over.