Men’s Basketball finishes rebuilding season with losses to Wesleyan and Connecticut

It was tough end of the season for the Colby men’s basketball team as they fell to Connecticut College and Wesleyan University this weekend. Adding two more losses to the in-conference season, the Mules finished with a 1-9 record in the NESCAC.

On Friday, the Mules faced off against Connecticut College in a closely contested game that featured five ties and six lead changes. At the final buzzer, the Mules came up short by ten points, though they had a six-point lead with 15 minutes to play in the second half.

Shooting struggles were a problem for both teams, as the Mules only managed a rate of 33 percent from the field, which is an average more often associated with three-point attempts. The Mules also struggled shooting three point shots (29 percent) which hurt when the majority of made baskets (11 out of 20) came from three-point land.

Compared to Connecticut’s 40 percent clip, the Mules needed to find another source of points, but came up short on that end with zero transition points and zero second chance opportunities compared to Connecticut’s 13. The Mules also ended up with only six points in the paint. Patrick Stewart ’17 led the Mules with 17 points, while Sam Jefferson ’20 led the way with seven rebounds.

Unfortunately, Saturday was more of the same as the Mules fell to Wesleyan 67-87. Jefferson continued his late season success for the Mules, leading the way with 17 points, and he led the team with four assists.

The Mules shot better from behind the arc on Saturday, cashing in at a rate of 35 percent, but it wasn’t enough. Again, Colby was outrebounded and failed to establish their inside presence with only 16 points in the paint, which was exactly half of Wesleyan’s tally. Wesleyan also had twice as many (12) second chance points as Colby (6), leading to easy points. Two thirds of Colby’s made field goal attempts came from behind the line which continues Colby’s tendency to live and die by the three.  Despite ending the season with two losses, the Mules have every reason to keep their heads held high heading into next season as the core of the team are underclassmen.

Freshmen starters Sean Gilmore ’20, Ethan Schlager ’20 and Jefferson rounded out Colby’s starting lineup this year, and key backup point guard Tyler Williams ’20 played starter-level minutes all season for the Mules. This talented young core hope to improve on this season, and use their chemistry in the future to improve the team.

“Coming out of the season we can all see there is a lot of work to be done…we need to take full advantage of the off-season and get ourselves to where we need to be come November,” Williams said.

These first-year Mules know they have big shoes to fill, but as Williams said, “the fact that we have so many freshmen on the squad is an amazingly exciting thing.” This group is now stepping in after seniors Patrick Stewart ’17 and Joe Connelly ’17 laced up for the final time last weekend. Williams said that it will be a group effort by everyone on the team to lead the charge next season and that the seniors will be dearly missed both on and off the court. “I love the guys and can’t wait to see where we go from here,” he said.

It won’t be until after next Thanksgiving when we get to see this group again, but the future looks bright for Colby Men’s Basketball.

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