Malcolm Delpeche sets Bates career blocks record in men's basketball's 55-54 loss to Colby

Malcolm Delpeche (left) blocked three shots on Saturday, setting a new Bates record for career blocked shots. Delpeche now has 130 blocks in his career. (Josh Kuckens/Bates College) 

LEWISTON, Maine -- Patrick Stewart converted a three-point play with 0.2 seconds left in the game and the Colby College Mules edged the Bates men's basketball team 55-54 Saturday night in a non-league game at Alumni Gym. 

Senior Malcolm Delpeche (Wilmington, Del.) blocked three shots against the Mules to set the all-time Bates men's basketball record for career blocks. Delpeche currently has 130 blocks in his career, surpassing Dave Larrivee '88 for first all-time in the Bobcat record books. 

It appeared that Delpeche's third block of the night would secure a dramatic win for Bates. With two seconds to go in the game and Bates leading by two, Colby's Maximilian Steiner drove to the hoop and Delpeche blocked his shot. But the ball deflected right to Stewart who somehow made an off-balance bank shot to tie the game. He got fouled in the process and Stewart sank the free throw to give the Mules (5-4) a 55-54 win over Bates (5-3). 

The Bobcats rallied down the stretch to put themselves in a position to win.

Down 52-45 with 5:50 left in regulation, Bates inched back into the contest with free throws from first-years Tom Coyne (Falmouth, Maine) and Nick Gilpin (Hampden, Maine). 

Coyne sank a jumper to cut the Colby lead to 52-49 with 3:53 left in the contest. Then with 3:17 to go, he sank a pair of free throws, further cutting the Colby advantage to one.

Coyne finished the game with 11 points off the bench for Bates. 

Senior co-captain Jerome Darling (Hartford, Conn.) gave the Bobcats a 53-52 lead with 2:26 left in regulation. He drove to the hoop and drew a foul. Then he sank a pair of free throws. 

Neither team scored again until Malcolm Delpeche split a pair of free throws with 11 seconds left to extend the Bobcat lead to 54-52.

But on the ensuing possession the Mules got the big three-point play from Stewart to earn the victory. 

Malcolm Delpeche didn't waste any time setting the new Bates blocks record. He denied a Steiner shot just under four minutes into the contest to surpass Larrivee in the record books. 

It appeared Bates would run away from Colby as the Bobcats jumped out to a 15-2 lead on a Coyne three-pointer with 10:48 remaining in the first half. 

But the Mules responded with a 9-0 run to cut the Bates lead to 15-11 with 8:03 left in the half on a Joe Connelly jumper.

Coyne made a three with 1:45 to go to put the Bobcats up by seven but the Mules scored the final four points of the half and Bates went into the locker room up by just three points.

Stewart, Colby's leading scorer, managed just a single point in the first half. But he exploded for 14 points in the second half, including a three with 15 minutes to go in the game, giving the Mules their first lead of the night.

Bates didn't take the lead again until Darling's two free throws with 2:26 left. 

Darling finished with a double-double (11 points, a game-high 11 rebounds) and he also dished out a game-high four assists. 

Senior Marcus Delpeche (Wilmington, Del.) led Bates with 15 points. He also grabbed 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. 

Despite dealing with foul trouble all game, Malcolm Delpeche still tallied eight points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.

Bates shot 30.9% from the field and 25% (6-24) from three-point range. Colby shot 36.1% from the field and 32% (8-25) from three.

The Bobcats made 14 of 20 free throws while the Mules only made 3 of 8 from the charity stripe. But their third made free throw of the entire night turned out to be the game-winner.  

Bates men's basketball is back in action Sunday, December 18 when they visit Saint Joseph's for a 1:00 p.m. tip.