Sunday, February 12 the men’s basketball team took on the Williams College Ephs (17-7, 5-5 NESCAC) and lost a tight one 65-62.
The Bobcats led for most of the first half, as Max Hummel ‘19 hit a three to put Bates up 21-12 with 9:00 left in the first half. The Ephs kept fighting, going on a 6-0 run before Marcus Delpeche ’17 hit a layup to push Bates’ lead 23-18 with 66:13 left. Williams would take the lead and not give it up with 4:59 left in the first half with a three from Bobby Casey, which capped off an 8-0 run to put them up 26-23. The Bobcats kept pushing back, cutting the deficit to one three times before the half. The Ephs would go into the half with a 36-32 lead.
Down 59-49 with 6:46 to go in the game, Bates turned up the heat. Quin Leary hit the first of back-to-back jumpers to cut the deficit to six with five minutes left. Then Marcus Delpeche jammed a dunk and Jerome Darling drained a three to cut the score 59-58 in favor of the Ephs with 2:38 remaining in the game.
A wide open Bobby Casey in the left wing knocked down a huge three to push the advantage back to four with 2:10 left in the game.
Jeff Spellman ‘20 finessed a layup with 1:11 remaining to cut the deficit to two but Williams answered with another three, extending the Williams advantage to 65-60 with 43 seconds left on the clock. Another Spellman layup made the score 65-62. Bates got one last chance to tie the game after the Ephs turned the ball over with just under three seconds remaining, but it was not enough for the Bobcats to tie the game.
Bates was very poor from downtown, shooting a mere 20%. Williams shot 42% from the field as Bates only shot 38%. Williams had ten more turnovers (19) than Bates (9) but the Bobcats could not capitalize.
Marcus Delpeche ‘17 became the 33rd player to reach 1,000 career points (1,007). He needed ten to achieve this and netted 1,000 with 3:09 in the first half. He also led the team in points and rebounds, 17 and 12 respectively, notching another double-double. Jeff Spellman led the team in assists with seven. Williams’ Daniel Aronowitz had a game-high 22 points, scoring at will when needed.
The Bobcats honored their six seniors on Sunday. Darling, the Delpeche twins, Leary, co-captain Connor McLeod and Max Eaton all played their final home games for Bates.
The Bobcats entered the NESCAC Playoffs as the No. 7 seed, and were set for a date with second seeded Middlebury in the first round of the tournament. The Bobcats season came to an end in this contest after a tough fight against the Panthers, eventually falling 88-84.
Senior brothers Marcus Delpeche and Malcolm Delpeche led Bates with 18 and 17 points, respectively, with 12 of those points coming in the second half of the final game as a Bobcat. The underclass trio of guards Tom Coyne ‘20, Nick Gilpin ‘20 and Jeff Spellman ‘20 all achieved double figures as well with 15, 14 and 10 points, respectively. Gilpin tallied a season-high in points, and also recorded six assists.
Middlebury’s Matt St. Amour dropped 34 points, making 11-of-21 shots from the field and shooting 47% from three-point range. St. Amour’s 21 points in the first half helped give the Panthers a 43-33 at the break; he then overcame a slow start to the second half to score 13 points in the final 7:20, helping the Panthers hold off a final Bates rally.
Turnovers hurt the Bobcats; they committed 18 compared to Middlebury’s eight. The Bobcats rallied in the second half, erasing a 17-point deficit but it was not be enough to overcome the cushion the Panthers created.
Both Delpeche twins received honors at the end of the season. Marcus was selected to the First Team All-NESCAC while his brother Malcolm was named NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year.
The Bobcats finished the season with a record of 15-10. It was the last game for seniors Jerome Darling, Max Eaton, Quin Leary, and Conor McLeod.