Men's Basketball Team Survives Colby in Saturday NESCAC Victory

Keegan Pieri's late jumper sealed Bowdoin's win over Colby on Saturday
Keegan Pieri's late jumper sealed Bowdoin's win over Colby on Saturday

BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Bowdoin College men's basketball team held off a late rally by Colby to take a 64-59 win on Saturday evening at Morrell Gymnasium.

The 22nd-ranked Polar Bears remain unbeaten at home on the season and improve to 15-1 overall (4-1 NESCAC). Colby falls to 8-8 on the year (1-4 NESCAC). Bowdoin sweeps the season series from the Mules, having already beaten Colby once this year on December 7 in Waterville, 82-64.

Bowdoin's frontcourt duo of John Swords and Keegan Pieri led the way for the Polar Bears in Saturday's win. Swords finished with 18 points (on 8-10 shooting) with 11 rebounds. Pieri recorded 15 points and 12 caroms in the victory. Grant White added 11 points, including seven in the second half, for the Polar Bears.

Colby was paced great performances off the bench from Shane Rogers and Sam Wilson. Rogers had 15 points, highlighted by a trio of three-pointers, while Wilson added 12 points on 5-6 shooting from the field. Chris Hudnut had 10 points and seven boards for the Mules.

Pieri and Swords combined for 21 first-half points as the Polar Bears took a 35-28 advantage into halftime. A trio of Matt Mathias free throws would extend the lead to 38-28 immediately out of the gate in the second period.

But the Mules answered with a 14-4 surge over the next eight minutes, coming within three points on a Patrick Stewart trifecta with 11:21 to go, 42-39, and tying the game at 42-42 moments later on a Sam Wilson three-pointer.

Bowdoin answered with a 10-2 spurt, sparked by consecutive three-pointers from Andrew Madlinger and White, to take a 54-46 lead with 5:50 to go. Colby would not go away, however, and stayed within striking distance until the closing moments when a three-pointer from Hudnut closed the gap to 60-57 with 1:22 remaining.

The Polar Bears turned to Pieri, who hit a turnaround jumper to push the lead to five points, 62-57, with 55 seconds to go. But Colby's Luke Westman drove to the hoop for a layup with 23 ticks remaining, trimming the lead back to three points, 62-59.

Attempting to break behind the Colby defense on the next inbounds play, an errant Bowdoin pass sailed out of bounds, giving the ball back to the Mules with a chance to tie the game with 17 seconds left. But Ryan Jann's three-point attempt rimmed out and White hit a pair of free throws to seal the win for the Polar Bears.

Bowdoin hit 43% of their shots for the game and held a 48-38 advantage in rebounding. Colby hit on 39% of its shots and connected on 10 three-pointers.

 The Polar Bears will return to the court on Tuesday evening at Thomas (7:00 p.m.). Colby will travel to Maine Maritime for a 7:30 p.m. start on Tuesday evening.