Men's basketball wins Colby Invitational
First-year Shane Rogers makes a move off of a screen and looks up to shoot during Colby’s 81-79 loss to local rival Thomas College on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at home.
With 93 points in his last four games, Colby men’s basketball’s senior tri-captain Ben Foreman established himself as one of the elite scorers in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). Foreman led Colby with 20 points in an away win at Fisher College last week and followed it up with a 30-point effort against the University of Maine at Fort Kent (UMFK) and 26 points in a rematch against Fisher at the Colby Invitational. With two wins at the Colby Invitational, the Mules won the three-team tournament. Colby also fell to Thomas College 81-79 at home on Tuesday, Dec. 6.
Foreman was on fire against UMFK, shooting 12-18 from the field and an impressive 6-9 from three-point range. However, his two biggest points came in the paint with just 53 seconds remaining. With the shot clock winding down, Foreman found his way into the paint and threw up a tough, Rajon Rondo-esque floater that found nothing but net and put the Mules ahead by three. UMFK heaved a three-pointer way off target with fewer than 10 seconds remaining, and the ball cleared to Foreman for an easy layup as time expired (which did not count). Colby escaped with a come-from-behind 79-76 win.
Junior Gordon Fischer’s perfect shooting game netted him 16 points. Fischer nailed a three with less than four minutes remaining to give Colby the 75-74 lead. Manny Odugbela led UMFK with 23 points. With a .500 record in hand, the Mules looked to make it three in a row on Sunday, Dec. 4 versus Fisher. Colby won the first meeting in Boston by a whopping 22 points. The matchup this past Sunday was decidedly closer.
Another big game from Foreman helped Colby escape with a 71-65 win over Fisher. Foreman dropped 26 points on 8-15 shooting. Six of his makes were from behind the three-point line. Foreman is shooting an excellent 50 percent from downtown.
First-year Connor O’Neil also finished in double figures with 11 points. Senior Alex Swanson came off the bench and led Colby with eight rebounds to go with eight points.
After the win over Fisher, Foreman landed Maine Men’s Basketball Coaches and Writers Association Player of the Week honors. At the time of publication, Foreman ranked second in the NESCAC in scoring with 20.8 points per game. Wesleyan University junior Shasha Brown sat at the top of the list, averaging 21 points per game, as Wesleyan took on Manhattanville College in Tuesday night’s late game.
On Tuesday, Dec. 6, Colby hosted Thomas in non-conference play. After Thomas raced to a 20-point lead early in the second half, Colby slowly chipped away at the lead until tying the game at 79-79 with 2:22 remaining. Thomas earned the last bucket of the game and the win with a layup with 43 seconds remaining.
O’Neil played the best game of his young career as a Mule, picking up a double-double on 19 points and 10 rebounds. Foreman added 17 points, while fellow senior tri-captain Eric Beaulieu also scored in double-figures with 14 points to go along with nine rebounds. Thomas’ Franklin Salvadore netted a game-high 33 points (including nine three-pointers), as Thomas moves to 4-3 on the season. Colby falls to 3-3 overall. The Mules will play their final games until after Christmas this weekend against Bowdoin College and Bates College in non-conference play—Bowdoin on Friday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. and Bates on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 3 p.m.—at Colby. Both games will serve as previews to the NESCAC schedule, which opens at Hamilton College on Jan. 8, 2012.