August 14, 2020
BANGOR DAILY NEWS (BANGOR, MAINE

WATERVILLE – College basketball is alive and well and screaming its head off at the Wadsworth Gym, where the Colby College White Mules find themselves one game away from winning their first-ever ECAC New England Tournament crown.

Playing in front of a raucous, packed house of 3,500 Wednesday night, senior All-American Matt Hancock fired in 28 points to lead Colby to a 102-81 victory over Clark University of Worcester, Mass., in the semifinal round of the eight-team event.

The victory, Colby’s 25th against a single loss, earned the nation’s 6th-ranked Division III team a berth in Saturday’s title game. The top-seeded Mules, winners of 12 in a row, will meet second-seeded Williams College at Wadsworth at 2 p.m.

“This is a big thing for me,” said Hancock after a performance that included 9-for-21 floor shooting, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. “I’ve been thinking in the locker room before these games I can’t let this be the last one. Saturday it will be the last one win or lose. I don’t plan on going out with a loss. I know the rest of the team feels the same.”

As has been the case for most of this season, Hancock was the marquee scorer for Colby this night. But the 6-foot-2 Casco native had plenty of help. Kevin Whitmore, a 6-3 junior, pumped in 23 points, including four 3-pointers. And the backcourt tandem of 6-2 sophomore John Daileanes and 6-1 junior Tom Dorion struck for 18 and 17, respectively.

Clark, which finished with a 16-12 record, was paced by 5-11 sophomore guard Todd McSweeney’s dazzling 21-point effort, which featured him scoring 13 consecutive points to start the second half.

Jason Qua, a 6-5 senior forward, muscled in 20 points, while 6-foot senior guard Scott Wirtanen added 15. Joel Murray, a 6-6 sophomore, scored 11. The taller Panthers, who rotated in a lineup that went 6-10, 6-8, 6-6 across the front, simply couldn’t match Colby’s overall quickness and smart play.

With Colby clinging to a 71-69 lead with 8:03 to play, Colby center Nick Childs, who stands 6-7, tipped in a Dorion miss. The bucket ignited an 11-4 Mule scoring run that enabled them to take command.

Hancock added a 12-footer from the lane and a lane drive, both set up by steals on the other end (one by Whitmore, the other by Hancock). Dorion added a lane drive and free throw for a conventional three-point play. And Whitmore contributed a putback of his own miss.

Clark never got closer than seven the rest of the way and the Mules pulled away down the stretch.

“It’s the same kind of game we played all year,” assessed Colby coach Dick Whitmore, who will be seeking his first ECAC title in a 20-year career Saturday. “We’re a good offensive team with a lot of guys who can shoot the ball. The key for us is getting offense from our defense. Tonight, our defense got us in trouble at times, then it got us out of trouble.”

Colby took a 49-37 lead into the locker room at halftime based on a pair of truly magnificent scoring runs which, as Whitmore alluded, were fueled as much by good defense as offense.

Trailing 12-11 at the 13:30 mark, the Mules erupted for 14 unanswered points to go up 25-12. SLUG:MULE EDTN:S SECT: PAGE:PDA HEAD:Mules 102, Cougars 81 BYLN: DATE:03/08/90 DAYW:THU LENG:7 EXTR:

Colby men Clark TEXT:KEYWORD-HIT.

Colby men Clark

Name AG G AF F TP Name AG G AF F TP

Hancock 21 9 10 9 28 Murray

10 3 6 5 11

Whitmore 15 9 1 1 23 Qua

8 5 10 9 20

Childs 3 1 0 0 2 Jensen

2 1 0 0 2

T. Dorion 9 6 5 5 17 To.McSw’ey

15 9 0 0 21

Hyland 2 1 2 2 4 Wirtanen

10 4 6 5 15

Daileanes 8 6 2 2 18 Gibbons

6 4 5 3 12

Rimas 5 4 0 0 8 Langston

2 0 2 0 0

Williams 1 1 0 0 2 Haley

1 0 0 0 0

Ti.McSw’ey

0 0 0 0 0

Cooney

0 0 0 0 0

Totals 64 37 20 19 102 Totals 54 26 29

22 81

Colby 49

102

Clark 37

81

3-pt. goals: Colby (9-18): Daileanes 4-6, Whitmore 4-6, Hancock 1-4, Dorion 0-1, Hyland 0-1; Clark (7-18): To. McSweeney 3-6, Wirtanen 2-3, Gibbons 1-3, Qua 1-4, Murray 0-1, Langston 0-1


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