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Contact: William Sodoma
Date: January 30, 2010
WATERVILLE, Maine --- The Colby College men's basketball team is in a tie for first place in the New England Small College Athletic Conference with Williams College after the Mules held on for a 72-68 win over Amherst College on Saturday at Wadsworth Gymnasium.
Colby's next league opponent is Williams next Friday at 8 p.m. in Williamstown. The Mules won their eighth straight game and improved to 15-2 overall and 5-0 in NESCAC play with four league games remaining. Amherst lost a second straight game in Maine after falling Friday night at Bowdoin College and dropped to 13-5 overall and 3-2 in the league.
Colby junior point guard Christian Van Loenen (Falmouth, Maine) had the biggest game of his collegiate career with 16 points on 6-for-7 shooting, seven assists, four rebounds, and a pair of steals. With the Mules holding a 67-65 lead, Van Loenen nailed a 3-point shot with 23 seconds left. Amherst countered with a 3-point shot by Steven Wheeler (Bloomington, Minn.) with eight seconds left to cut the margin to 70-68. The Mules broke the full-court press by Amherst and Mike Russell (Wellesley, Mass.) hit a wide open lay-up with two seconds remaining for the final points.
Russell had his 11th double-double game in
scoring and rebounding with game-highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds. Adam
Choice (Newport, R.I.), who has 1,389 career points and ranks 10th all-time in scoring at Colby, had early foul problems and still finished with 19 points
and three assists. Gil Haylon (Wellesley, Mass.) went 3-for-5 from 3-point
range for nine points and Justin Sherman (Piedmont, Califl.) had six points and
Taylor Barrise (Allendale, N.J.) led the Lord Jeffs with 13 points, while Jeff Holmes (Saunderstown, R.I.) had 12 points and six rebounds. David Waller (Tampa, Fla.) added 11 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Conor Meehan (Meriden, Conn.) was playing well with nine points, five rebounds, and three assists before suffering an injury in the second half and missing the rest of the game.
Amherst led 50-45 with 10:55 to play in the game after Waller nailed three straight free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt. Van Loenen, though, went to work and scored seven points, dished an assist, and pulled down a rebound over the next five minutes to give Colby a 54-53 lead with 6:34 to play.
The Lord Jeffs went ahead for the final time when Holmes scored inside for a 57-56 lead with 4:45 to play. Choice put the Mules up for good with an inside bucket of his own with 4:29 remaining and Russell followed with a 3-point play for a 61-57 margin with 4:04 left. Colby held a 65-60 lead with 1:42 to play, but the Lord Jeffs got back into things quickly after a Colby player punched the ball away for a technical foul after committing a foul. Wheeler hit both technical shots and Holmes went 1-for-2 to cut the lead to 65-63. Choice scored on a lay-up with 1:28 to play for a four-point lead, but Amherst made it 67-65 after a jumper by DJ Carcieri (Narragansett, R.I.) with 56 seconds left. Van Loenen nailed his big 3-point shot with 23 seconds left.
The Mules also will face a tough test next weekend at Middlebury College in the Saturday game at 4 p.m.
COLBY 72, AMHERST 68
AMHERST (13-5, 3-2 NESCAC)
Taylor Barrise 4-6 4-8 13; Jeff Holmes 5-8 2-5 12; David Waller 3-13 3-3 11;
Conor Meehan 4-9 1-2 9; Steven Wheeler 2-9 2-3 7; DJ Carcieri 3-5 0-0 6;
Allen Williamson 2-2 0-0 4; Willy Workman 2-5 0-0 4; Peter Kaasila 1-5 0-0
2. Totals 26-62 12-21 68.
COLBY (15-2, 5-0 NESCAC)
Mike Russell 9-13 2-3 20; Adam Choice 7-16 5-6 19; Christian Van Loenen 6-7
2-2 16; Gil Haylon 3-5 0-0 9; Justin Sherman 3-9 0-1 6; Chas Woodward 1-4
0-1 2; Eric Beaulieu 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-54 9-13 72.
Amherst....................... 31 37 - 68
Colby......................... 32 40 - 72
3-point goals--Amherst 4-16 (David Waller 2-3; Steven Wheeler 1-6; Taylor
Barrise 1-3; Willy Workman 0-2; Conor Meehan 0-2), Colby 5-9 (Gil Haylon
3-5; Christian Van Loenen 2-2; Justin Sherman 0-1; Adam Choice 0-1). Fouled
out--Amherst-None, Colby-None. Rebounds--Amherst 39 (David Waller 7), Colby
29 (Mike Russell 10). Assists--Amherst 14 (Conor Meehan 3; David Waller 3),
Colby 21 (Christian Van Loenen 7). Total fouls--Amherst 13, Colby 16.
Technical fouls--Amherst-None, Colby-Chas Woodward. A-1050