W. Basketball bows out in NESCAC semifinals

Colby Women’s Basketball fell to Tufts University 62-42 on Saturday in the NESCAC semifinals. The fifth-seeded Mules had beaten Connecticut College the previous weekend in the quarterfinals but were unable to extend their season further, finishing 15-11 overall and 6-4 in league play.

Colby went into the game knowing that they were facing a tall task against the top-seeded Jumbos, who had the home-court advantage. Nevertheless, the Mules arrived at Cousens Gym with an upset on their minds. The hosts got out to a fast start in the first quarter, but the Colby women hung in, thanks in large part to eight points on 4-5 shooting by Haley Driscoll ’18  in the opening quarter. The team as a whole shot an impressive 63 percent to keep the game within reach, but the  Mules were still down 20-11 at the end of the quarter.

However, the Mule offense grounded to a halt in the second quarter, when they yielded  just two points. A combination of poor shooting and erratic play on offense resulted in the Mules going 0-12 from the field with seven turnovers. Carylanne Wolfington ’16 prevented a shutout by knocking down a pair of free throws after drawing a foul as time expired in the first half. The Mules could do little to slow down their opponents on offense, and the teams went into the break with the score reading 35-13 in favor of the Jumbos.

Coach Julie Veilleux made adjustments at halftime in an attempt to mount a comeback. The Mules attempted just four three-pointers in the first half, but put up 13 in the second half to try to force their way back into the game. But their shots would not fall, and the team would only make three of their 17 shots from beyond the arc for the game, which was well below their season average of 32 percent. The Mules received some help from Mia Diplock ’16, who chipped in with five of her six points to go along with two assists. Yet the team could not make back any ground, and the result was all but decided going to the fourth quarter with the score 48-26.

Wolfington was determined to make her mark on her final college game, carrying the Mules’ offense with 10 of her 14 points on 2-3 shooting and 5-7 from the charity stripe. But the deficit proved to be too much, and the game ended 62-42. Colby’s run to the league semifinals is their best finish since the 2011-2012 season.

The team will miss senior captains Wolfington and Diplock, who led the way on and off the floor this year. Wolftington finishes her career ninth on Colby’s all-time scoring list with 1,143 points. Along with senior Desi Smith ’16, Wolfington and Diplock leave big shoes to fill, but the Mules are  confident that they have enough returning firepower to compete again next year.

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