WATERVILLE — The Colby men’s basketball team might just be hitting its stride.

The Mules, who are two years removed from a 24-4 season and an NCAA Division III tournament appearance, came into this campaign light on game experience after the pandemic wiped out last season.

Colby has just one senior, guard Matt Hanna, eight juniors and a number of freshmen and sophomores who had yet to see game action.

The results show a team going through some early growing pains. The Mules (8-8, 0-3 in the New England Small College Athletic Conference) snapped a four-game losing slide with an 88-67 win over Husson on Tuesday night at the Crook Center.  In the victory, signs emerged that the team is coming together and heading in the right direction.

“Obviously, it was a rough stretch for us,” Colby junior guard Alec McGovern said. “We had to look individually deep down and see what we could bring to the table. I think we just came together and honestly, wanted to stop losing. We know this program is better than that, and we think we have it in us. Hopefully, this is a good stretch for us and we keep it going forward.”

“It’s definitely been an up-and-down kind of season,” junior guard Noah Tyson added. “I felt, especially the second semester, coming back from Christmas break, we put together a lot of good first halves, or a lot of good second halves, some good spurts. But we haven’t put together a full 40 minutes. (Tuesday’s win) was a huge step towards that. As a young team, that’s part of the growing pains, part of the growing process. I feel like, overall, we’re making good progress and hopefully we can carry the win into the weekend in playing Bowdoin.”


Colby found its groove offensively against Husson, particularly in the second half, when the Mules went 11-18 in 3-pointers. Four Colby players scored at least 10 points. Sophomore guard Lucas Green had a double-double, scoring 14 points to go along with 10 assists. Freshman forward Jack Lawson — second on the team with 12.5 points a game — added 12 points. Sophomore guard Liam O’Connell scored 11 points.

Husson’s DJ Bussey (13) draws the foul from Colby’s Noah Tyson (12) during a men’s basketball game Tuesday in Waterville. Michael G. Seamans

“Lucas, Liam, Kyle (Butler), Cooper (Wirkala), all those guys in practice every day, they come after our starting five group and kill us every day in practice,” Tyson said. “For us to see them go kill somebody else is nice for a change.”

The Colby juniors are also growing into leadership roles. Tyson, Colby’s leading scorer (12.9 ppg) and rebounder (7.4 per game), scored eight points and pulled down 10 rebounds. McGovern scored 10 of his 14 points in the second half, helping to seal the game. Butler and  Wirkala, an Oceanside High School graduate, each provided scoring help in the second half, nailing multiple 3-pointers.

McGovern said the team is starting to not only gel on the court, but off the court as well.

“We’ve got a lot of guys,” McGovern said. “It’s tough to get close with everyone. But we’ve done a good job recently of (gelling with) off-the-court stuff. We have dinner together, just kind of increase that chemistry together. I think that showed (against Husson). I do think that when the off-court stuff is really good, then we’re really good on the court. If we keep focusing on that and building a relationship, we should be set for the future.”

There’s still work to be done for Colby. The Mules are still searching for their first NESCAC win of the season. An opportunity comes Saturday when they host rival Bowdoin College (9-7, 0-3 NESCAC).



Dave Dyer — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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