W. Basketball stopped by record-breaking Amherst

As the final buzzer sounded Saturday night, the Colby women’s basketball 2014-15 season came to a close. Despite showing impressive form, skill, and repeated determination throughout the year, the Mules simply could not overcome one final challenge, and lost to Amherst in the NESCAC tournament, 62-40.

Despite putting up an impressive 16-8 record going into the game, holding the sixth seed out of eight, the Mules knew it was never going to be an easy game. Amherst’s home form is, simply put, record breaking—their 110-game unbeaten run at home is an NCAA record for all divisions. With this in mind, the Mules were prepared for a challenge, but had high hopes to end the 23-2 Lord Jeff’s record-breaking run.

The Mules opened with a characteristically strong start, as a Mia Diplock ’16 shot put Colby on the board for three. However, Amherst returned with a ruthless aggressiveness in their response, scoring 10 unmatched points. The Mules quickly fought back, clawing the game to within 4 points, thanks to a free throw from Diplock and a layup from Caitlyn Nolan ’17. Amherst then launched another attack, putting nine points up with no response from the Mules. This style of play continued to characterize the game, with periods of back-and-forth open play being followed by strong, unmatched attacks from Amherst. The Lord Jeffs then launched another vicious attack, putting up another nine points to put the score at 33-15 heading into the half.

As the second half opened up, Amherst again took charge, helped by 3-pointers from Ali Doswell, taking their lead to as high as 25 points over the Mules. Despite a determined effort to take back the lead, Colby again found itself at the hands of another relentless Amherest attack as the Lord Jeffs extended their lead to 27 points at the 7:13 mark.

Although the Mules fought back hard and earned some points, when the final buzzer sounded, the score stood at 62-40, extending Amherst’s unbeaten streak at home to 111 games. Despite the tough loss and untimely exit from the NESCAC championship, the Mules should have absolutely no reason to feel down about their performance. Junior captain Diplock posted a team high of 15 points, only one point shy of the game high scorer for Amherst, Megan Robertson, demonstrating that the Mules have the talent needed to succeed. Junior Carylanne Wolfington and Sophomore Caitlyn Nolan also both put in strong individual performances, each putting up nine points for the Mules. As Diplock, Wolfington, and Nolan all have at least one season left for the Mules, the strong performances of this year will undoubtedly be seen again next season.

As the last game of the season, it was also the final game for two seniors, guard Brooke Chandor and forward captain Kate Parsons. Chandor played especially well in her final appearance with a team high of seven rebounds.

With a strong showing from a young squad, Colby women’s basketbal is undoubtedly looking ahead towards next season and the possibilities that it will bring. Despite the tough final loss, the team has a multitude of positives to take away from the season, positives that will only continue into next year as the squad grows.

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