Cooper explodes for 28, but men drop final non-conference contest at Bates, 60-55

Jordan Cooper '18 (photo by Sportspix/Mike Broglio)
Jordan Cooper '18 (photo by Sportspix/Mike Broglio)

LEWISTON, Maine (info taken from a Bates press release) -- Brandeis University men's basketball rookie Jordan Cooper (Weston, Fla./Sagemont School) scored a career-high 28 points, but it wasn't enough to overcome a more balanced attack from host Bates College as the Bobcats took a 60-55 decision in Alumni Gym tonight. The Judges will take a 5-6 record into University Athletic Association play Saturday against NYU, while Bates improves to 8-2 on the campaign.

Cooper's 28 points came on 9-of-16 shooting. He connected on four of his nine 3-point shots, hitting all four in the first half. He also connected on 6-of-8 from the line. Sophomore center John Powell (Ashland, Mass./Brimmer and May School) finished with 12 points and seven rebounds, but no other Brandeis player had more than five points. Junior guard Colby Smith (No. Andover, Mass./No. Andover) tied for game-high honors with six assists. 

Bates was paced by Mike Boornazian, who scored 17 points and Graham Safford, who added 12, including the 1,000th of his career.

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 quickly converted a three-point play 13 seconds into the second half for 999 points, then banked in a jumper with 19:17 left in the half for 1,001. He becomes the 31st Bates men's basketball player to score 1,000, and the first since Brian Ellis '11.

Reserve Adam 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 Billy Selmon 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, Marcus Delpeche 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 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.

Philpott 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.