By Kaitlyn York Contributing Writer
Dearborn Gymnasium roared with applause as the Men’s Basketball team took the court preparing to face the Mules of Colby College. After a hard fought battle, the Beavers fell short of the win with a final score of 92-76 going to the Mules.
Head Coach Richard Meader said the team knew they had a hard game ahead of them. “We knew it was going to be difficult. They were 7-1 and had a couple wins over very good teams,” said Meader. “They had good size and could shoot the ball very well.”
Knowing what they would be going up against, the Beavers worked on guarding their (Colby’s) offense during practices leading up to the game. “They’re a very good shooting team so we were just working on getting to their shooters and stopping that,” said Milani Hicks, a senior captain.
When the game began, Hicks started out strong scoring the first two points of the game with a slam dunk. Colby came back and scored a three-pointer immediately after and that was just the beginning of the back and forth battle for the lead.
“We played nervously,” said Meader “Our effort was there, there was no question about that, but we didn’t make shots and Colby did and that really makes it difficult.”
At halftime, the score was 49-32 in favor of the Mules, though the Beavers did not give up hope. Riley Robinson, a junior captain, said they knew that they still had a chance to win and were able to come up with a new plan for the second half.
“We tried to make some more changes defensively and offensively and we were able to execute them but we just came up a little short,” said Robinson.
Throughout the second half of the game, the gymnasium filled with tension as both teams played strong in hopes to beat out the other. “With a team that moves the ball as well as they [Colby] did and shoots it as well,” said Meader. “To stop them you’ve got to be aggressive and we ended up fouling them because the movement of the ball puts you in a tough situation.”
Though the game did not turn out as they had planned, the Beavers remain positive as they look back on the things they did well. “Just not giving up at the end,” said Hicks. “I know we were down 15-20 at the beginning but we didn’t give up, we still fought and that’s a positive. I’ll take that away.”
“It was hard, physical game, two good teams battling, fast-paced,” said Robinson. “I really liked the resiliency that we showed.”
Amir Moss was the top scorer of the game for UMF, scoring a total of 26 out of the 76 points. He was followed by Hicks, who scored 13 personal points.
With the loss, the team now has a record of 4-2 but remain 2-0 within their conference. “Obviously, the main goal is to win the conference and go to the NCAA’s,” said Meader, while also pointing out his team’s specific goal for the season. “Our goal is to get the number one seed and play at home with the final game.”
The Beavers will face off with the Mules again on Tuesday, Jan. 8th at Colby College. Before then, the team will continue to work on building up their confidence and getting out of the shooting slump that they are currently in according to Meader. “We’ll shoot better next time and we’ll do some things to counter them.”
The next home game for the men’s team will be played on Wednesday, Jan. 16th in Dearborn Gymnasium starting at 7:00 p.m..