Bates men's basketball wins a thriller over Brandeis to open the Naismith Classic

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Shawn Strickland hit a three from the corner with 10 seconds to go in the game and the Bates men's basketball team got the Naismith Classic on the campus of Springfield College off on the right foot with a 62-59 win over Brandeis on Saturday.

With the win, the Bobcats (6-5) advance to play Husson for the championship at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Strickland '18 (Middletown, Conn.) scored 12 points on the night for Bates while Marcus Delpeche '17 (Wilmington, Del.) led all scorers with 15 points. Senior captain Mike Boornazian (Portland, Conn.) nearly tallied a double-double with 13 points and a game-high nine boards. 

Down 59-57 after a Jordan Cooper three with 1:55 to go in the game, Bates turned the ball over. But they got a huge blocked shot from Malcolm Delpeche '17 (Wilmington, Del.) and Marcus Delpeche pulled down the rebound. He found his brother in transition and Malcolm Delpeche slammed it home to tie the game at 59 with 1:04 remaining.

After John Powell missed a layup, Boornazian pulled down his ninth rebound of the game and Bates called timeout with 32 seconds to go in regulation. They ran 20 seconds off the clock and Strickland nailed the three to win the game.

Brandeis' last gasp was off the mark and Bates hung on for coach Jon Furbush's '05 100th career victory. 

Bates started the game on a 10-3 run but Brandeis (5-5) immediately went on a 7-0 run to even the game at 10. 

The teams mostly traded baskets throughout the remainder of the first half with Brandeis taking a three-point lead into the halftime break. 

Down 35-32 to start the second half, the Bobcats pulled ahead by one with 16:54 to go in the game on a Marcus Delpeche dunk. Boornazian followed with a three-pointer and three Marcus Delpeche free throws made it 48-41 Bates with 13:50 to go.

Brandeis didn't back down as they took advantage of some free throws as well to pull within one. Then Robinson Vilmont hit a three and all of a sudden Bates trailed 50-48 with 10:53 left in the game.

A Boornazian jumper tied the game at 50 with 9:31 to go and neither team scored again until Strickland hit a jumper with 6:56 left to put Bates up by two.

The teams traded buckets down the stretch. With 1:55 remaining, Cooper nailed his three to put Brandeis up 59-57.

But they did not score again.