The USM men’s basketball team couldn’t follow the ladies’ example as they fell to the Colby College Mules 63-58, for their second straight loss—a tough one for USM.
Colby was led offensively and defensively by sophomore center Chris Hudnut, who scored 20 points and had 11 rebounds. USM was led offensively by senior forward Conor Sullivan, who had 19 points, while James Odneal led USM defensively with nine rebounds. Senior center Tyler Penney and sophomore guard Zach Leal also contributed on the boards, hauling in five rebounds each.
Colby was able to make the most of their 3-pointers, going ten-for-21, while USM struggled, going only four for 16—three of which were made by sophomore guard Sean Caddigan.
USM failed to capitalize on several free throw opportunities, finishing the second half nine-for-15, but missed several down the stretch.
Colby also ruled the boards, grabbing 10 more rebounds than USM, including 12 offensive rebounds providing the Mules with second chance opportunities.
This loss keeps USM seventh in the eight-team Little East Conference with just one more win than last-place UMass-Boston.
USM finished the first half seven points behind Colby but came out of halftime on fire, forcing several turnovers and at times drawing level with the Mules. However, Colby was able to convert several 3-pointers quickly opening a nine-point lead. Despite the loss, the Huskies outscored the Mules 31-29 in the second half.
The game appeared to break in favor of the Huskies, but they never got over the hump. After two free throws by sophomore forward Jacob Littlefield, USM was within six points—down 54-60 with just under three-and-a-half minutes remaining. Colby extended their lead back to eight, but Conor Sullivan again cut it to two possessions with just over two and a half remaining. Sullivan hit another free throw to come within five with just under two minutes remaining.
At that point the game was winnable for the Huskies, and an offensive foul put the ball back in USM’s possession. Penney nailed one of two free throws with over one and a half remaining to come with four. With 49 seconds remaining, Conor Sullivan fumbled on a defensive rebound that went out of bounds, giving Colby the ball with a full 35-second shot clock. Colby was able to hold the ball before a foul on vHudnut, which advanced the lead to three possessions.
Colby’s victory was dampened early in the second half when sophomore guard Michael Loginoff was injured and left the game. Loginoff had to be helped off the court by two of his teammates, later returning to the bench on crutches and keeping his weight off his right leg.
This is USM’s second-straight loss, after a steep loss at Keene State 95-59 on Feb. 1. USM has gone 1-9 in their last ten, their only victory coming against UMass-Boston on Jan. 28.