With its next victory, Colby women’s basketball will match its win total from all of last season. The Mules, who were 7-17 last winter, improved to 6-0 after Sunday’s win over Bates.

Colby coach Julie Veilleux said after that game that the Mules have been “playing really good team ball” this season. It’s something every coach wants but this group has been able to achieve it so far.

“I think that just based off the individual basketball players we have, most of them are used to extra passes,” Veilleux said. “I like to come up with something that plays to the strengths of our team, and I think this plays to our strengths pretty well.”

Veilleux played under noted 3-point advocate Paul Vachon at Cony High School, so it also warms her heart that Colby is shooting 41 percent from behind the arc. The Mules are 16th in the country in team percentage, but that’s misleading. They’ve taken 161 3-pointers and no other team in the top 100 is within 30 of that number. So you could make an argument that Colby is the best three-point shooting team in Division III at this early point in the season.

The Mules shot 29 percent on 3-pointers last season (if they missed their next 68 threes, they’d still be shooting better than they did last season). Caitlyn Nolan (19 for 39) and Hall-Dale grad Carylanne Wolfington (14 for 29) are both hovering around 50 percent from long range this season.

Nolan is the big surprise this season. Last winter, she averaged 10 minutes and 2.8 points per game. So far this season, she’s scoring 17.5 points per night. Five other players are averaging at least 7.7 per game, including Wolfington (14.8) and Cony grad Mia Diplock (13.0). Freshman Haley Driscoll is starting and contributing 8.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per contest.

The Mules have two more big games coming up this week. Colby is at St. Joseph’s on Wednesday then hosts Bowdoin at 1 p.m. Saturday. This is also what Veilleux calls “typically the toughest academic week we have during the season.” Finals are next week, so this is a week of presentations, papers that are due — and three tough games for Colby.

Still, the Mules will take it. They approach this week from a difference place than the last two seasons, when they had a combined record of 15-33 after finishing 19-7 in 2011-12.

“When you have a really strong class that graduates, it takes time to sift through, what are the roles? What are the strengths?” Veilleux said. “And I think we’re finally at a point where we can (face) it a little bit better.”

• • •

A pair of former Class D high school basketball stars, Jamie Plummer and Carrington Miller, each received Player of the Week recognition on Tuesday.

Plummer, a Richmond grad who now plays at UMaine-Augusta, was named USCAA Women’s Division II Basketball Player of the Week. Plummer played only one game but it was a doozy, as she scored 31 points and hauled down 18 rebounds in a 64-61 win over Southern Maine Community College. SMCC entered the game undefeated in conference play.

Plummer scored UMA’s last six points of the game. With the Moose trailing 61-60, she hit a go-ahead jumper with 20 seconds to play. Plummer then grabbed a defensive rebound with four seconds left and made two foul shots for the final score.

Miller, a Valley grad who now plays at Central Maine Community College, earned Yankee Small College Conference Player of the Week honors. Miller had 39 points and five rebounds in a 102-58 win over Hampshire, then came back the next night with eight points and 16 rebounds in a 69-64 victory over UMaine-Presque Isle. In the second half of the game against UMPI, Miller took only four shots, but contributed eight rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

• • •

Mary Badeen, a Newport native and Messalonskee grad, played basketball in the second semester of her freshman year at Maine Maritime Academy. Badeen transferred to Arcadia University in Pennsylvania and played there last winter, but is now back at MMA.

Heading into Tuesday night’s game at UMaine-Farmington, Badeen was averaging 37.7 minutes, 17.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.7 steals per game. She was also shooting 37.5 percent from three-point range.

The Mariners were 1-2 heading into the week and host Husson on Saturday. There are only 10 players on MMA’s roster, and just two, Bekah Campbell and Mt. Blue grad Jillian Perron, are seniors.

• • •

The Southern Maine Community College men’s basketball team is 9-1 overall and 5-0 in the Yankee Small College Conference. One big reason is that the Seawolves are averaging 80.1 points per game.

One factor in the high-octane offense is starting point guard Jordan DeRosby of Waterville. DeRosby has started every game for SMCC and takes only five or six shots per night, but he leads the team in assists with 2.8 per game. He’s also second on the team in steals.

SMCC was picked third in the preseason conference coaches’ poll. The Seawolves play at No. 1 pick Central Maine Community College on Dec. 11 and host No. 2 pick St. Joseph’s of Vermont on Jan. 10. SMCC has 18 games remaining on its regular season schedule, and 13 of them are at home.

• • •

UMaine-Presque Isle has two local women’s basketball players who will be making appearances in central Maine in the near future. Nokomis grad Sara Packard is starting for the Owls, while Maine Central Institute grad Bri Losee is one of UMPI’s top players off the bench

UMPI is 1-2, and plays at 5:30 p.m. Monday at UMaine-Augusta. The Owls play in Waterville at Thomas College on Dec. 13 in their last game before the holiday break.

Packard is second on the Owls in rebounding with 4.3 per game and is also averaging 5.0 points per night. Losee is scoring 7.3 points per game. She had 14 points and six steals as UMPI defeated Eastern Maine Community College on Nov. 24 for its first win.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

Twitter: @Matt_DiFilippo


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