Men's hoops downs Brandeis 60-55; Safford nets 1,000th point

Graham Safford is congratulated after netting his 1,000th and 1,001st career points in Bates' 60-55 win over Brandeis on Jan. 6, 2015. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- Mike Boornazian scored 17 points and Graham Safford added 12, including the 1,000th of his career, to lead the Bates men's basketball team to a 60-55 non-conference victory over Brandeis University on Tuesday evening in Alumni Gymnasium.

The Bobcats (9-2) overcame a game-high 28-point effort by Brandeis center Jordan Cooper. John Powell added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Judges (5-6).

Senior Adam Philpott (Gloucester, Mass.) scored 12 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, giving Bates a 14-8 advantage in bench points and helping the Bobcats to a 35-29 advantage on the glass.

Safford (Hampden, Maine) needed four points entering the game to reach the 1,000-point mark. He kept Bates fans waiting until the second half after a scoreless opening period. But right out of intermission, the two-year captain converted a three-point play 13 seconds into the second half for 999 points.

After an offensive foul called on Powell, Safford then backed his man down on the left wing and banked in a 15-foot jumper with 19:17 left in the half for 1,001 and a 35-28 Bates lead. He becomes the 31st Bates men's basketball player to score 1,000, and the first since Brian Ellis '11. Now with 1,008 points, Safford moves into 30th place on Bates' all-time scoring list, ahead of Tom Goodwin '78 (1,005).

Philpott made a layup with 10:30 to go in the second half and followed with a 3-pointer at the 10:03 mark to turn a 42-42 tie into a 47-42 lead. A jumper by senior Billy Selmon (Atlanta, Ga.) made it 49-42. Cooper responded with five consecutive points as Brandeis pulled even at 49-49, and with 4:03 remaining he converted a three-point play for Brandeis's final lead at 52-50.

With 3:02 remaining, junior Marcus Delpeche (Wilmington, Del.) made one free throw and missed the second, but Bates kept the ball when the rebound went out of bounds. Safford then fed Boornazian for a 3-pointer and a 56-52 Bates lead. 

Cooper made 1-of-2 free throws and then hit a jumper with nine seconds to go, but Safford was 4-for-4 at the free-throw line in the final 26 seconds to secure Bates' second win in a row.

The Bobcats scored their first 12 points of the game on a quartet of 3-pointers two each by Selmon and Boornazian. But Brandeis kept pace and Cooper made back-to-back threes for a 13-12 Judges lead.

Cooper, who finished the half with 15 points, canned another three on an assist by Smith at the 6:41 mark for a 23-22 Brandeis lead.

Cooper and Philpott traded threes, and with 3:25 to go in the half, first-year Justin Zukowski (Portland, Maine) got out of a tie-up and found sophomore Malcolm Delpeche (Wilmington, Del.) open underneath for a dunk that put Bates ahead 30-28. Improbably, those were the final points for either team in the half. 

The Bobcats have the program's best record through 11 games since the 2006-07 season, and will open NESCAC play this Friday 7pm at home against Middlebury.