WATERVILLE — After missing all of last season battling illness, Ronan Schwarz wondered how he would fit in with the Colby College men’s basketball team when he returned. As he showed in Tuesday night’s 77-47 win over crosstown rival Thomas, Schwarz fits in just fine.

Schwarz scored a game-high 19 points, making 7 of 9 shots from the field, to lead the Mules’ lopsided non-conference win.

Colby is now 3-0, while Thomas is 2-4.

“I wasn’t sure what my place would be on the team, what my abilities would be like. As soon as the season started, I’m back. Everyone’s accepted me fully,” Schwarz, a junior guard, said.

Colby College’s Steven Daley (14) dives for the loose ball and looks to pass to teammate Sam Jefferson (20) at Thomas College in Waterville on Tuesday. Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

Schwarz scored nine of his points in a one-man 9-0 run midway through the first half, pushing Colby’s two-point lead to 22-11.

“I thought he’s really grown a lot, being able to watch for a year. The game has slowed down for him,” Colby coach Damien Strahorn said of Schwarz.

Sam Jefferson’s 3-pointer at the buzzer gave Colby a 36-23 halftime lead, and the Mules pulled away in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

Jefferson added 12 points for the balanced Mules, while Matt Hanna scored 11. Sean Gilmore and Noah Tyson each scored nine points. Colby benefited from sloppy play from the Terriers, who committed 23 turnovers.

“One of the things I’m most excited about this year is the depth we have,” Strahorn said. “Our practices in the early part of our year have been so competitive, with guys really challenging and pushing each other. That gives us a chance for different guys to step up different nights.”

Thomas College’s Angel Gonzalez dives over Colby College’s Matt Hanna for the loose ball in the second half at Thomas College in Waterville on Tuesday. Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

“In practice, we really like getting at it defensively and do a good job trying to deny the ball,” Schwarz said. “Honestly, when it comes to game time, it feels easier than practice. Having confidece, knowing we practice really hard, that contributed to it.”

Patrik Lubin led Thomas with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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